You want a flat story.” When Pi gives them the flat story they want, a story that fails to contradict what they are prepared to believe, the men become excited by the prospect that this second version is the truth.
However, Pi is not finished with them or their skepticism.
He also possesses a crucifix and a rosary, going to church on Sundays and praying to Jesus.
Lastly, he owns and proudly uses a prayer rug, observing the call to prayer several times a day as a devoted Muslim.
However, the novel pointedly refrains from advocating any single religious faith over another.
Instead, the novel investigates the nature of religious faith itself.Had I considered my prospects in the light of reason, I surely would have given up and let go of the oar, hoping that I might drown before being eaten.Pi’s refusal to consider his predicament “in the light of reason” opens up space for his faith in God to flourish, and this faith sustains him even through the darkest, most fearful moments.The religions resemble different chapters of one very long book, each chapter setting up and feeding into the next.The novel contrasts Pi’s easy acceptance of his three faiths with the competition and arguments between the leaders of those faiths.They reason that one boy cannot follow three different paths, and they begin to debate which religion would be best for Pi.When the leaders demand that Pi choose one faith to the exclusion of all others, he blurts out, “I just want to love God,” embarrassing the hot-headed religious leaders and putting a stop to their debate.By comfortably following three of the world’s major religions, Pi represents not just the possibility of peaceful coexistence between different faiths but also the belief that different religions are merely alternative paths to the same destination.The specific doctrines of Pi’s three faiths make very little difference to him.Pi, although amazed by the possibility of lacking this belief, still respects the atheist, because he sees him as a kind of believer.Pi’s vision of an atheist on his death bed makes it clear that he assumes the atheist’s form of belief is one in God, without his realizing it until the end.