Before reading any Life of Pi deconstructions, I’m just going to try to organize the story’s meaning to me.
First of all, I think the point is not to question which story is the one that really happened. The question was asked explicitly to throw the audience off. And then, to me, the story is really an allegory of our contemplation of God.
People want to believe in the fantastical story of God, and as they vacillate between this incredulity and the overwhelming desire for this to be true, they also get a lot of help along the way, in the form of proof (but our senses have been known to be unreliable) and elaborate, plausible narratives.
When we rationalize the existence to others, we reconstruct that private fantastical story into realism. And then find that it’s easier to persuade with the fantastical.
But both are not true. They are projections of our desire to make meaningful life’s caprice, situations that we cannot control or understand—our desire to demonstrate sanity in an insane world.