Let me first say that I likely didn't give this book a fair shake, I got so bogged down in getting him "off the boat already" that I stopped focusing on what the author was trying to say. It was an interesting read, plodding but interesting. I know there is much more to this book than I'm pulling out here, but sometimes we miss the forest for the trees.
1. Search for truth brings joy and confusion. Pi dives headfirst into Christianity, Hinduism -and Islam simultaneously and those around him find themselves confused by his ability to concentrate on all three and his lack of conflict while practicing them. This of course shows ignorance of the tenets of the religions of Christianity and Islam, but in this anti-Muslim and anti-Christian society we live in, to see those two ideas living side by side in one person’s mind is interesting to contemplate and even to consider how two groups who disagree could possibly be able to work together, concentrating on the similar desires of each.
2. Having focus brings hope in hopeless circumstances. Pi finds himself on a lifeboat with a tiger. The focus of the remainder of the book is on whether it is possible for man to dominate a tiger…or is it about whether man is able to dominate their impossible circumstances. Hope (and an unbelievably well stocked lifeboat combined with the convenience of knowing about animal nature as Pi’s father was a zookeeper) help Pi to survive. The will to survive, hope for the future, are demonstrated by the ease with which he overcomes the realization that even when he is rescued, his whole family has been taken by the same sinking that left him stranded in the Pacific.