You are so bored you sink into a state of apathy so close to a coma…in your boredom there are elements of terror… and in the grip of terror -the worst storm- you yet feel boredom, a deep weariness with it all. ”(p217) Pi feels terror yet in the midst of that terror is the ironic part; he’s bored. One would expect Pi to be hopeless while on the lifeboat, yet it’s the opposite. He is hopeful and believes one should find happiness anywhere one can find it.
You get your happiness where you can. You reach a point where you’re at the bottom of hell, yet you have your arms crossed and a smile on your face, and you feel you’re the luckiest person on earth. Why? Because at your feet you have a tiny dead fish. ”(p217) most wouldn’t consider finding a dead fish lucky, but Pi does, for being in his situation changes one’s perspective and that finding a dead fish is lucky. What happens is the very opposite of what you expect.
One external conflict Pi faces is when the three religious men confront him and his family. “But fate decided that my parents and I and the three wise men, as I shall call them, should meet one day on the Goubert Salai seaside esplanade and that my secret should be outed. ”(p64) Up to this point Pi has kept his practice of many religions a secret, and meeting all three ‘wise men’ at once isn’t something Pi looks forward to; for he knows it’s not a good idea for them all to know.
This leads to an internal conflict—-“When I saw the first, I smiled; by the time I had laid eyes on the third, my smile had frozen into a mask of horror. When it was clear that all three were converging on us, my heart jumped before sinking low. ”(p65) This shows that Pi is nervous and doesn’t want this to happen, and while all this is happening, Pi is thinking about what to do. When they ask him to choose one religion he says, “Bapu Gandhi says that all religions are true…I just want to love God. ”(p65)
The beginning if the novel helps one understand Pi’s thirst for truth, “Academic study and the steady, mindful practice of religion slowly brought me back to life. ”(p3) This shows readers the way Pi thinks and if religion brought him back to life he must really love and dedicated towards it. A theme throughout the novel is that religion is a priority. “Solitude began. I turned to God. I survived. ”(p311) Pi’s turning to God so he could get through the ordeal, and he believes faith helped him survive.