In my opinion, many things about society are revealed in Yann Martel's novel The Life of Pi. One of these is that man doesn't always hold the answers to nature's mysteries. When Pi reaches the algae island inhabited by meerkats, he believes all his needs are taken care of and that he has found a place to survive endlessly. He finds food, fresh water, and gains strength on the island. However, by watching the behavior of the meerkats he finds that something is not right about the island. He discovers it is carnivorous and the algae becomes burning acid at night. The meerkats adapted to this. Pi would never have survived if he had not paid attention to the meerkats' behavior and learned from it. This parallels human society. People often seek to live apart from nature—certainly not in congruence with it. It often leads to their downfall. One example of this is the tsunami that hit Indonesia, killing hundreds of thousands of people in 2004. Survivors recant stories of animals fleeing before the tsunami hit, yet video footage shows people watching the wave come in from the shore.
Another thing that is revealed about society is the desire for territories and boundaries to separate us from those that frighten us or those we seek to rule over. Pi learned to peacefully coexist with a mighty Bengal tiger by constantly establishing his territory on the lifeboat. He even made several attempts to assert dominance, such as blowing the whistle and charging Richard Parker.
After Pi lands in Mexico and is visited by the investigators, he tells them the story of his survival. They find it impossible to believe the story of the hyena, zebra, orangutan, and tiger, which reveals man's tendencies to dismiss or disbelieve the improbable and miraculous. To satisfy them, he changes the story, turning the animals into humans, and here much is revealed about society.
In Pi's alternate story, he changes the hyena to the cook. He recants how he eats flies and rats, and the others find him disgusting and uncouth. Pi calls him a foreigner, suggesting that people do not accept differences in customs and beliefs in others.
Pi changed the zebra to the young sailor. The sailor couldn't communicate with them at all and was in great pain. Pi and his mother both showed him compassion and tried to comfort him, despite the communication barriers. This illustrates the times when people aid those in need in society, as often happens after natural disasters. Pi goes on to tell that the cook cut off the sailor's leg. No one wanted to go along with it, but he was a brute and dominated them all. This illustrates the brute force of dictators, militia groups, cartels, and gangs.
Mother tries to stop the cook from cannibalizing the sailor. She represents the orangutan from the animal story. She also represents all those in society who take a stand to help the poor and oppressed in the world. In this alternate story, Pi is the tiger, who uses violence to serve justice, killing the cook. This represents governments and other groups who have fought wars to end the unjust practices of others.