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Life of Pi | Characters

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Character Description
Pi Patel Pi Patel's full name is Piscine Molitor Patel. He is an Indian academic and zookeeper's son who immigrated to Canada at age 16 in a lifeboat. Pi is the novel's main character and, for most of the book, the narrator. Read More
Richard Parker Richard Parker is the Bengal tiger who crosses the ocean in the lifeboat with Pi. He got his human name from a clerical mix-up at the Pondicherry Zoo. Read More
Visiting Writer The visiting writer is never named, though he shares traits and experiences with Yann Martel, the book's author. He narrates the Author's Note and the italicized sections of the book. Originally from Canada, he becomes intrigued by Pi's story on a visit to India. The writer's thoughts provide the frame for the larger narrative. Read More
Mr. Patel Mr. Santosh Patel is the owner of the Pondicherry Zoo and Pi's father. He decides to move the family to Canada as a response to dissatisfaction with Indian politics in 1977. He dies in the Tsimtsum's wreck. Read More
Mrs. Patel Mrs. Gita Patel is Pi's mother. She dies in the Tsimtsum's wreck. Read More
Ravi Ravi is Pi's older brother by three years. He's known for his charisma and athletic ability. Ravi dies in the Tsimtsum's wreck. Read More
Blind Frenchman The blind Frenchman, who is also a castaway, meets Pi in the Pacific Ocean when he is temporarily blinded. Since the Frenchman is starving, he attempts to kill and eat Pi, but Richard Parker kills the Frenchman first. Read More
Mr. Adirubasamy Mr. Francis Adirubasamy is an old friend of the Patel family; Pi is named after the man's favorite pool in the world, the Piscine Molitor in Paris, France. He introduces the visiting writer to Pi and his story.
Auntieji Auntieji is Pi's Québecoise foster mother when he moves to Canada after his arrival in Mexico. Pi calls her Auntieji, an Indian term of affection.
Babu Babu is a zookeeper at the Pondicherry Zoo.
Mr. Chiba Mr. Chiba is an assistant at the Japanese Ministry of Transport who helps Mr. Okamoto interview Pi in Mexico.
The cook In his second story to the Japanese officials, Pi describes the ship's cook as a "brute" similar to the way he describes the hyena. Pi feels love for the cook because of the forced companionship of the long journey. But when the cook kills Pi's mother in a fight over food, Pi murders him in retaliation.
The hyena The hyena is one of the animals in the lifeboat with Pi. Like other hyenas, he is vicious and will eat anything. Pi is also struck by the hyena's physical ugliness. He kills and eats the zebra and Orange Juice, but is killed by Richard Parker.
The imam The imam is the leader of the Muslim worship services Pi attends.
Mr. Kumar, the baker Mr. Kumar, a baker by trade, is the Sufi and mystic who introduces Pi to Islam.
Mr. Kumar, the teacher Mr. Kumar is Pi's biology teacher in India who is an atheist.
Mr. Okamoto Mr. Okamoto is the official at the Japanese Ministry of Transport who interviews Pi in Mexico to figure out why the Tsimtsum sank.
Orange Juice Orange Juice is the orangutan in the lifeboat with Pi after the shipwreck. Orange Juice is one of Pi's favorite animals in the zoo, and he's comforted by her presence. She's killed by the hyena.
The pandit The pandit is the leader of the Hindu worship services Pi attends.
Meena Patel Meena is Pi's wife. A fellow Indian immigrant, she works as a pharmacist in Canada.
Nikhil Patel Nikhil is Pi's teenage son, who goes by Nick.
Usha Patel Usha is Pi's young daughter, a shy four-year-old who enjoys playing with her cat.
The priest The priest is the leader of the Christian worship services Pi attends.
Auntie Rohini Auntie Rohini is Pi's mother's sister, who introduces young Pi to Hinduism.
The sailor In Pi's second story to the Japanese officials, the sailor is a Tsimtsum employee who survives the shipwreck with a broken leg. He is similar to the zebra in his physical loveliness and vulnerability.
The zebra The zebra is in the lifeboat with Pi after the shipwreck. Pi describes the zebra as "a lovely animal." His leg is broken, and he doesn't live long before the hyena eats him.
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