The topic focus for this group is NATURE, excluding animals. What we are looking for are types of plantlife and what Pi learns from nature about life.

Nature is already playing an important role in Life of Pi. We have not yet seen much mention of plant life yet but I predict we will soon. I really don't know what else to talk about because we haven't even had any real mention of nature outside of animals yet. -Chris S

So far in this novel, it appears that nature will have alot to do with the outcome. There have already been quite a few references to animals that are quite interesting. For example, just from the background of the book we know that Pi ends up in a boat with a tiger for quite some time. This is unique because at the beginning of the story, Pi's father takes him to the zoo to show him how dangerous tigers are. "Tigers are very dangerous! I want you to understand that you are to never, under any circumstances, to touch a tiger!" Pi's father told him this, and then proceeded to show Pi the dangers by having him watch a tiger kill a goat. There are many other connections to nature elsewhere in the book. For example, Pi's father works at a zoo, and it is one of Pi's favorite places. He loves to watch the animals and study them to see what they are thinking. "... and the baboons bank robbery getaway." He watched the babbons and analyzed how they were acting. This story has strong ties with animals and nature. As we read on we think it will become evident that nature has a significant role in the story, and it can already be seen to a small amount already. - David R.

"It is not atheists who get stuckin my craw, but agnostics"(Martel 35-36). Agnosticism is the philosophical view that the value of certain claims as truth—particularly theological claims regarding the existence of God, gods, or deities—are unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent and thus irrelevant to life.(Wikipedia) -Tyler S.

So far through the Life of Pi animals have been a key part of Pi's life. He has been enflunced by them in many ways an will continue to do so, i beleive. as far as nature and plants go, i agree with Shew when he says that nothing about that subject has come up in the book yet. also, tho i do see that in the near future the role of plants an nature will definalty increase. - Cody S

"He will pay dearly if he unwittingly slips to beta."(54)
Beta (uppercase Β, lowercase β) is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 2. It was derived from the Phoenician letter Beth external image 20px-Phoenician_beth.png. Letters that arose from Beta include the Roman B and the Cyrillic letters Be and Ve.(wikipedia) -Brandon S

Through one of the chapters he makes a lot of refrence to water, in particular his struggle to overcome it, this may forshadowing to the future in how he will have to rise above nature, or perhaps the fact that water will enivetibly become a source desperation once again shows that man is not greater than nature. -Mat E.

Although much plant life has not been mentioned as of yet, the sea has been very important to the narrator in relation to his favorite pasttime, swimming. This constant inclusion of water and swimming shows the narrator's integrated internal self and emotion that has become dissolved and inseparable from the water. It's like his very being can only be perserved in water and cannot be reomved. He is the solute and the water is the solvent. Piscine and the water seem to have an interdependent relationship, in which they define each other. Piscine attempted to describe his unfailing devotion to the sea by saying, "It was my own, a guilty pleasure, that I returned to the sea, beckoned by mighty waves that crashed down and reached for me in humble tidal ripples gentle lassos that caught their willing Indian boy." (Martel, 12) -Kelly E

external image p-tiger-at-toronto-zoo.jpg

With regards to Pi's description of zoo's and how the zoo owners attempt ot make the animals habitat as natural as possible. In the whole underlying tone of this book which is Pi searching for a religion. Do the habitats and animals all represent different religions that each have their own pros and cons?
- Logan Thiessen

I believe that Pi has a "link" that connects him to the animals, just as his father does, but he is just starting to learn how to interpret this knowledge. It is as an old man once told me, "I believe the human mind a storage center, which has all the applied themes, but just needs a transportation center to connect it." Pi is just starting to connect the "tracks" that are to combine his knowledge of life to his base idea on religion.
-Brian L.

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Discussion Questions for September 20, 2006
When Pi is on his way back from Mr. Kumar's, he is describing how different he feels after he has worshipped. He says, "Whereas before the road, the sea, the trees, the air, the sun all spoke differently to me, now they spoke one language of unity." (Martel...Page 78) How is he using these different elements of nature to reflect on one of his new religions?

Some aspect of nature has been mentioned in relation to two different religions. What might the author be trying to tell us about nature? Do you think that this connection that the author is establishing is a strong and supportive one?

Biology (from Greek βίος λόγος, see below) is the branch of science dealing with the study of life. It is concerned with the characteristics, classification, and behaviors of organisms, how species come into existence, and the interactions they have with each other and with the natural environment. Biology encompasses a broad spectrum of academic fields that are often viewed as independent disciplines. However, together they address phenomena related to living organisms (biological phenomena) over a wide range of scales, from biophysics to ecology. All concepts in biology are subject to the same laws that other branches of science obey, such as the laws of thermodynamics and conservation of mass.
external image 90px-EscherichiaColi_NIAID.jpg
external image 90px-Tree_Fern.jpg
external image 90px-Goliath_beetle.jpg
external image Thompson
Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle
At the organism level, biology has partially explained phenomena such as birth, growth, aging, death and decay of living organisms, similarities between offspring and their parents (heredity) and flowering of plants which have puzzled humanity throughout history. Other phenomena, such as lactation, metamorphosis, egg-hatching, healing, and tropism have been addressed. On a wider scale of time and space, biologists have studied domestication of animals and plants, the wide variety of living organisms (biodiversity), changes in living organisms over time (evolution), extinction, speciation, social behaviour among animals, etc. (Wikipedia)
-Tyler S, Cody S, Chris S, Brandon S

"Time and sunshine healed a sore, but the process was slow, and new boils appeared if I didn't stay dry."(Martel) This is an example of how natur opresses Pi. Does nature represent anything symbolicly in Pi's "Hero's Plight" or is this just a mere obsticle that he will overcome that will strengthen him for future challanges.
-Logan T

In chapters 90-91 is Yann Martel trying to say with Pi's act of cannibleism that humans are really no better that humans in that we will do anything to live longer, even if it means doing extremely distasteful things.
-Logan T