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12th English – Lesson 2 – Supplementary – Life of Pi

 

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12th English – Lesson 2 – Supplementary – Life of Pi

Warm Up

Imagine you are going on a trek or an adventure. It
requires grit and a strong will to survive the odds and emerge unscathed. Most
importantly, you should carry an emergency kit.

Choose the ten most essential items from the box below and
complete the table.

Answer:

First-Aid Kit :
Flashlights : Batteries : Warm blanket : Knife

Tube tent/Bivvy bag
: Local Maps : Candles : Matches : Whistle to signal for help

 

1. Answer the following questions in a sentence or two each, based
on your understanding of the story.

(a)
Describe the pathetic condition of Pi in the middle of the ocean.

Answer: Pi
was alone and orphaned. He was drifting in the middle of pacific ocean hanging
on to the oar. An adult tiger was in front of him. Sharks were beneath his
boat. A storm was raging about him.

 

(b)
Who was Richard Parker?

Answer: Richard
Parker was a Bengal tiger. It stayed in the same boat. Each was cautious of the
other.

 

(c)
Richard Parker’s survival seemed incredible to Pi. Why?

Answer: The
elements of nature which threatened his survival the previous night had calmed
down. The life boat did not sink. The shark prowled but did not attack. The
waves did not pull him off. Thus Richard Parker’s survival seemed incredible.

 

(d)
Why was the great beast not behaving naturally?

Answer: It
was unnatural of 450 pound heavy tiger to lie quietly for two and half days
unnoticed by Pi in the lower deck of the boat. It was suffering from sea sickness
and sedation. Pi’s father had sedated it early to lessen the stress of sea
voyage on the animal. That is why it behaved unnaturally.

 

(e)
Why was Pi not afraid of the hyena?

Answer: The
presence of Richard Parker had intimidated the hyena to such an extent that he
hid himself behind the Zebra. So, Pi wasn’t afraid of the hyena.

 

(f)
Describe Pi’s struggle to find drinking water.

Answer: Pi
was just two feet above Richard Parker. He moved the yellow tarpaulin. Thirst
egged him on to unroll the tight tarpaulin. He saw the bow and it had an end
bench. Upon it, a harp glittered like a diamond. He found a lid shaped like a
rounded-out triangle. He found a pile of orange life jackets. He undid the harp
and opened the lid. It opened on to a locker. The open locker shined with new
things. He found water cans piled up.

 

(g)
What was Pi’s reaction when he discovered drinking water?

Answer: Hitting
the lid against the tarpaulin hook, Pi opened the water can and started
drinking. To the gurgling beat of his greedy throat, pure delicious, beautiful,
crystalline water flowed into his system. It was liquid life. He drained that
golden cup to the very last drop sucking at the hole to catch any remaining
moisture.

 

(h)
Why did Pi want to tame Parker?

Answer: A
part of Pi was glad about Richard Parker. A part of Pi did not want Richard
Parker to die because if he died, Pi would be left alone to deal with despair,
a foe is much more formidable than a tiger. So, he wanted to tame Richard
Parker.

 

(i)
What saved Pi’s life?

Answer: Parker
kept Pi from thinking too much about his family and his tragic circumstances.
He pushed him on to go on living. It was Richard Parker who pushed him to go on
living.

 

(j)
How did Pi reunite with this family?

Answer: Richard
Parker and Pi reached an island. Parker left him without even looking back at
him. A ship did find Pi and he got reunited with his family.

 

2. Answer the following questions in about 50 words.

(a)
How did the presence of Richard Parker help Pi?

Answer: Pi
had to be alert to stay alive in the presence of a 450 pound heavy tiger whose
moods may swing. The tiger’s presence did not allow him to think much about his
family and the tragic circumstances he was placed in life. He had to keep alert
to stay alive. He hated Richard Parker but was grateful to the animal for
keeping him out of despair, an enemy much more formidable than the Bengal
tiger.

 

(b)
Describe the lifeboat.

Answer: The
life-boat was three and a half feet deep, eight feet wide and twenty six feet
long exactly. It was designed to accomodate a maximum of thirty two people. But
just the presence of three (i.e.) Zebra, hyena and the tiger along with him
made it appear that the boat was already crowded. In the lower part there were
many orange life boats and packaged drinking water kept in a closed box.

 

(c)
How did Pi feel after drinking water?

Answer: After
drinking water, he felt great. A sense of well being quickly overcame him. His
mouth became moist and soft. His skin relaxed. His joints moved with greater
ease. His heart began to beat like a merry drum. Blood started flowing through
his veins like cars from a wedding party honking their way through town.
Strength and suppleness came back to his muscles. His head became clearer. In
fact, he felt like returning from the world of dead to life.

 

(d)
Did Pi want Richard Parker to die? Answer, giving reasons.

Answer: No,
Pi did not want Richard Parker to die. He was in fact glad about Parker. If he still
had the will to live, it was because of Parker. He kept him from thinking too
much about his family and the tragic circumstances. Though he hated him for his
capability to strike terror in his heart, he wanted him to live. If Parker
died, Pi will have to live alone with despair which is a much more formidable
enemy than Parker himself.

 

3. Answer in a paragraph.

(a)
How did the presence of Richard Parker influence the attitude of Pi during his
stay on the boat?

Answer:

It was Richard
Parker who calmed down Pi. The irony of life is that the animal that scared him
witless to start with was the same who brought him peace, purpose and even
wholeness. They were literally and figuratively in the same boat. They had to
live together. A part of Pi’s personality was glad about Parker’s presence, who
gave him the will to hang on to life under the toughest conditions.

He realized danger
and peace can co-exist when one is aware of one’s innate strength. He realizes
the fact that staying with a tiger is less tormenting than living alone with
despair. Loneliness and despair can easily kill a person. He decided to focus
on the chances of survival and shut off the tragic circumstances he was placed
in a lonely boat in the middle of Pacific Ocean. In short, he became
optimistic, balanced and stoical in his attitude to life thanks to the presence
of Richard Parker.

 

(b)
Water is the elixir of life. Substantiate the statement with reference to the
story of ‘Life Of Pi’.

Answer:

The author calls it
‘liquid life’. For a thirsty man, a cup of water is more precious than gold. He
had not drunk water for two and a half days after the ship wreck. Pi drank two
litres of the most exquisite nectar (i.e.) water. Suddenly Pi’s forehead was
wet with fresh perspiration. Everything in him right down to the pores of his
skin was expressing joy. A sense of well-being quickly overcame him. His skin
relaxed, his joints moved with greater ease.

His heart began to
beat like a merry drum. Blood started flowing through his veins like cars from
a wedding party honking their way through the town. Strength and suppleness
came back to his muscles. His head became clearer. Truly he was returning to
life from the world of dead. After being thirsty for a while, to be drunk on
water is noble and ecstatic basked in bliss and plentitude for several minutes.
These experiences of Pi highlight the indisputable fact that water is the
elixir of life.

 

(c)
If you were lost at sea for as long as Pi was, what is the one item you would want
with you? Write a diary entry in which you identify the item and explain why it
is the one thing you would want with you.

Answer:

If I were lost in
the seas similar to Pi, I wouldn’t have to worry about water because I will
carry enough water to last for 140 days. Lifejackets would be already
available. A whistle could be my choice of item. Even at night if a ship is
passing by I can whistle and attract the attention of the ship. When I feel
lonely I can whistle. I can scare away prowling sharks too with my whistle as
it would sound like the sound made by dolphins in deep waters.

Occasionally
fishermen also come deep into the ocean with their trawlers or fishing boats in
early evenings or dawn. I could easily invite their attention. Inspite of
having a whistle, if no boat or ship comes that side, it would be difficult to
survive. But I can whistle as well as wave the orange life jackets to attract
possible rescuers.

 

4.
Sequence the following incidents logically to write the summary of the story
‘Life of Pi’.

  1. As he looked around, he was shocked to
    find Richard Parker on board.
  2. His search for water took him
    dangerously close to Richard Parker but nothing could stop him neither Richard
    Parker nor the hyena
  3. Pi left Richard Parker in a jungle and
    reunited with his family.
  4. Pi came back to life and his senses
    after drinking the elixir of life.
  5. He understood that it was Richard
    Parker who helped him survive for 227 days.
  6. He was pinned by weakness having had
    no food, water or even sleep for nearly three days.
  7. Strangely his thirst overpowered his
    fear of Richard Parker and he went about exploring for ‘ fresh water.
  8. A little later, he succeeded in his
    search, when he found stacks of cans of drinking water.
  9. Pi was stranded in the Pacific on a
    lifeboat.
  10. Then, he realized that Parker who
    scared him earlier brought him peace, purpose and wholeness.

Answer:

  1. Pi was stranded in the Pacific on a
    lifeboat.
  2. He was pinned by weakness having had
    no food, water or even sleep for nearly three days.
  3. As he looked around, he was shocked to
    find Richard Parker on board.
  4. Strangely his thirst overpowered his
    fear of Richard Parker and he went about exploring for fresh water.
  5. His search for water took him
    dangerously close to Richard Parker but nothing could stop him neither Richard
    Parker nor the hyena.
  6. A little later, he succeeded in his
    search, when he found stacks of cans of drinking water.
  7. Pi came back to life and his senses
    after drinking the elixir of life.
  8. He understood that it was Richard
    Parker who helped him survive for 227 days.
  9. Then, he realized that Parker who
    scared him earlier brought him peace, purpose and wholeness.
  10. Pi left Richard Parker in a jungle and
    reunited with his family.

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