Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi” Quotes (77 Quotes)


    A realization that the founding principle of existence is what we call love, which works itself out sometimes not clearly, not cleanly, not immediately, nonetheless ineluctably.

    I cannot think of a better way to spread the faith. No thundering from a pulpit, no condemnation from bad churches, no peer pressure, just a book of scripture quietly waiting to say hello, as gentle and powerful as a little girl's kiss on your cheek.


    Oncoming death is terrible enough, but worse still is oncoming death with time to spare, time in which all the happiness that was yours and all the happiness that might have been yours becomes clear to you. You see with utter lucidity all that you are losing.

    There are many examples of animals coming to surprising living arrangements...where an animal takes a human being or another animal to be one of it's kind.


    A zoo is a cultural institution. Like a public library, like a museum, it is at the service of popular education and science. And by that token, not much of a money-making venture for the Greater Good and the Greater Profit are not compatible aims.

    I challenge anyone to understand Islam, its spirit, and not to love it. It is a beautiful religion of brotherhood and devotion.



    These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.



    I've never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. The pain is like an axe that chops my heart.

    Progress is unstoppable. It is a drumbeat to which we must all march. Technology helps and good ideas spread - these are two lows of nature. If you don't let technology help you, if you resist good ideas, you condemn yourself to dinosaurhood! I am utterly convinced of this.

    To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews, creatures who people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you. It is like losing--I'm sorry, I would rather not go on.

    At moments of wonder, it is easy to avoid small thinking, to entertain thoughts that span the universe, that capture both thunder and tinkle, thick and thin, the near and the far.


    Japanese-owned cargo ship Tsimtsum, flying Panamanian flag, sank July 2nd, 1977, in Pacific, four days out of Manila. Am in lifeboat. Pi Patel my name. Have some food, some water, but Bengal tiger a serious problem. Please advise family in Winnepeg, Canada. Any help very much appreciated. Thank you.


    To prosper, a zoo needs parliamentary government, democratic elections, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, rule of law and everything else enshrined in India's Constitution. Impossible to enjoy the animals otherwise. Long-term, bad politics is bad for business.

    Blessed be shock. Blessed be the part of us that protects us from too much pain and sorrow. At the heart of life is a fusebox.



    Scientists are a friendly, atheistic, hard-working, beer-drinking lot whose minds are preoccupied with sex, chess and baseball when they are not preoccupied with science.

    We are all born like Catholics, aren't we-in limbo, without religion, until some figure introduces us to God?

    But once a dead God, always a dead God, even resurrected. The Son must have the taste of death forever in his mouth. The Trinity must be tainted by it; there must be a certain stench at the right hand of God the Father. The horror must be real. Why would God wish that upon Himself? Why not leave death to mortals? Why make dirty what is beautiful, spoil what is perfect? -- Love. That was his answer.

    I love Canada...It is a great country much too cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligent people with bad hairdos.

    Just beyond the ticket booth Father had painted on a wall in bright red letters the question: DO YOU KNOW WHICH IS THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL IN THE ZOO? An arrow pointed to a small curtain. There were so many eager, curious hands that pulled at the curtain that we had to replace it regularly. Behind it was a mirror.

    Socially inferior animals are the ones that make the most strenuous, resourceful efforts to get to know their keepers. They prove to be the ones most faithful to them…it is a fact commonly known in the trade.



    I preferred to set off and perish in search of my own kind than to live a lonely half-life of physical comfort and spiritual death on this murderous island.

    Life is a peephole, a single tiny entry onto a vastness--how can I not dwell on this brief, cramped view of things? This peephole is all I've got!


    When your own life is threatened, your sense of empathy is blunted by a terrible, selfish hunger for survival.



    Life on a lifeboat isn't much of a life. It is like an end game in chess, a game with few pieces. The elements couldn't be more simple, nor the stakes higher.

    That's what fiction is about, isn't it, the selective transforming of reality? The twisting of it to bring out its essence?

    When you've suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.


    I went to temple at crowded times when Brahmins were too distracted to come between me and God.


    The blackness would stir and eventually go away, and God would remain, a shining point of light in my heart. I would go on loving.

    Why can't reason give greater answers? Why can we throw a question further than we can pull in an answer? Why such a vast net if there's so little fish to catch?

    Dawn came and matters were worse for it. Because now, emerging from the darkness, I could see, what before I had only felt, the great curtains of rain crashing down on me from towering heights and the waves that threw a path over me and trod me underfoot one after another.



    The individual soul touches upon the world soul like a well reaches for the water table. That which sustains the universe beyond thought and language, and that which is at the core of us and struggles for expression, is the same thing. The finite within the infinite, the infinite within the finite.

    Why do people move? What makes them uproot and leave everything they've known for a great unknown beyond the horizon? ... The answer is the same the world over: people move in the hope of a better life.


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