"Life of Pi" -- Vocabulary from Chapters 58-80

"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel is the simple story of a boy on a raft. If that sounds relaxing, there's one problem -- there is also a tiger on the raft.

Before you see the movie, read Yann Martel's exciting novel "Life of Pi" and learn these word lists: Ch's 1-20, Ch's 21-42, Ch's 43-57, Ch's 58-80, and Ch's 81-100.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. manual
    a small handbook
    I pulled out the survival manual.
  2. beak
    the mouth of animals other than birds (e.g., turtles)
    There was no neck. The turtle had retracted into its shell; all that showed of its head was its eyes and its beak, surrounded by circles of skin.
  3. idle
    not in active use
    But an idle mind tends to sink, so the mind should be kept occupied with whatever light distraction may suggest itself.
  4. tethered
    confined or restricted with or as if with a rope or chain
    I brought out a second rope and tethered the raft to the lifeboat with it.
  5. solar
    relating to the sun or utilizing the energies of the sun
    I discovered what a solar still is.
  6. cone
    a shape with a circular base and sides tapering to a point
    It consists of an inflatable transparent cone set upon a round lifebuoy-like buoyancy chamber that has a surface of black rubberized canvas stretched across its centre.
  7. capacity
    capability to perform or produce
    The stills looked pretty and very technological as they floated on the water, but they also looked flimsy, and I was doubtful of their capacity to produce fresh water.
  8. notch
    a small cut
    With the sawtoothed edge of the hunting knife I painstakingly cut a notch into it, about halfway down, and with the knife’s point I drilled three holes through its flat part.
  9. bait
    something used to lure fish or other animals
    The first problem arose: bait.
  10. flap
    move with a thrashing motion
    Richard Parker turned his head and snapped his mouth, jowls flapping, but the fish was too quick for him.
  11. sentient
    endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness
    It was the first sentient being I had ever killed.
  12. placidly
    in a quiet and tranquil manner
    Indeed, as they floated placidly in an arc, they looked almost like cows grazing in a field.
  13. morsel
    a small amount of solid food; a mouthful
    As I drifted away I saw him come out into the open to fetch the morsel of fish.
  14. equipment
    an instrumentality needed for an undertaking
    Rest and restful activities (writing in diary, examining of scabs and sores, upkeeping of equipment, puttering about locker, observation and study of Richard Parker, picking at of turtle bones, etc.)
  15. algae
    primitive chlorophyll-containing aquatic organisms
    The smell of spent hand-flare shells, and prayers at dawn, and the killing of turdes, and the biology of algae, for example.
  16. seam
    joint consisting of a line formed by joining two pieces
    Then they tore until only the seams were left.
  17. sextant
    an instrument for measuring angular distance
    The castaway was to his mind an experienced sailor who, compass, chart and sextant in hand, knew how he found his way into trouble, if not how he would get out of it.
  18. ambit
    an area in which something operates or has power or control
    Fish that were local in their ambit made the net their neighbourhood, and the quick ones, the ones that tended to streak by, the dorados, slowed down to visit the new development.
  19. carapace
    hard outer covering or case of certain organisms
    I did it by bringing the victim alongside the bow of the boat, carapace against hull, and tying a rope to its neck, a front flipper and a back flipper.
  20. shield
    a protective covering or structure
    Almost anything can make a shield.
  21. nausea
    the state that precedes vomiting
    Your alarmed animal must associate its increasing nausea with the shrill cries of the whistle.
  22. ordeal
    a severe or trying experience
    But there was only the survival manual, which I must have read ten thousand times over the course of my ordeal.
  23. sniff
    perceive by inhaling through the nose
    The right signal was that when I had his feces in my hand, I rolled them about for some seconds, brought them close to my nose and sniffed them loudly, and swung my gaze his way a few times in a showy manner, glaring at him wide-eyed (with fear, if only he knew) long enough to give him the willies, but not so long as to provoke him.
  24. revulsion
    intense aversion
    My body developed a revulsion for salt that I still experience to this day.
  25. acrid
    strong and sharp, as a taste
    The taste was acrid, but it wasn’t that.
  26. boredom
    the feeling of being tired of something tedious
    The worst pair of opposites is boredom and terror.
  27. vanish
    decrease rapidly and disappear
    A good whack on the offender’s nose with a hatchet sent it vanishing post-haste into the deep.
  28. gregarious
    tending to form a group with others of the same species
    But to know that and to apply it are two very different things (and it’s a useless bit of knowledge if you’re hoping to stare down a gregarious cat.)
  29. unambiguous
    admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding
    Treatment should be repeated until the association in the animal’s mind between the sound of the whistle and the feeling of intense, incapacitating nausea is fixed and totally unambiguous
  30. malaise
    a general feeling of discomfort, uneasiness, or depression
    Just one shrill blow and you will see your animal shudder with malaise and repair at top speed to the safest, furthest part of its territory.

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