A few days later Pi asked his parents if he could be baptized and buy a prayer rug. They were both flustered by this request, and they tried to distract Pi with books (including Robinson Crusoe). When he persisted, they tried to convince him to choose among his religions, or to take their route and reject all religion as “old-fashioned.”
Just like the religious leaders, Pi’s parents try to put boundaries on his worldview, making him choose one religion or none at all. Pi’s mother mentions Robinson Crusoe, the famous shipwreck narrative that in many ways parallels Pi’s own story. In that novel, Crusoe too finds God in his isolation.