The Life of Pi is the story of an Indian man, his search for God and his masculine maturity. He experiences a tragic shipwreck, in which all his family members are eventually killed. Afterward, he spends months at sea with a tiger, which represents the wildness of a man that needs to be controlled to achieve maturity. Without controlling this part of their masculinity, men become destructive, abusive adults seeking selfish pursuits and pleasures that hurt those around them.
These Scriptures speak to some of the themes of the movie.
- Psalm 34:4-7 (God delivers us from all our fears)
o Copy of the movie
o Equipment for showing the movie (TV, DVD player, LCD projector, Speakers, Screen…)
o Question Sheet (attached)
o Popcorn and drinks (optional)
o Print out copies of the question sheet for each individual or group.
o Set up everything for viewing the movie. (Be sure to test it all out to make sure that the movie plays well and that the sound can be heard by everyone.)
o Prepare snacks. (optional)
Watch the movie. Then on your own, with a mentor or with a group, answer the questions on the Question Sheet.
- Who did each of the animals on the boat (i.e., the hyena, the orangutan, the zebra and the tiger) represent?
- Why do you think it was important for Pi to associate people with animals in his story?
- What part of Pi’s personality or identity did the tiger represent?
- Why didn’t Pi let the tiger die when he had a chance to let it drown?
- What did Pi mean (metaphorically) when he said that the tiger couldn’t be tamed, but it could be trained?
- Why was it important for Pi to face the tiger (metaphorically)?
- What did the island represent?
- Why was it important for Pi to leave the island?
- Why was Pi so sad when the tiger left him without a goodbye?
10. Where do you think the “tiger” went (metaphorically)?