The mind in any state can begin to wonder especially it places of great turmoil. These men "made themselves laugh" as they had to deal with death and survival on a daily routine. The baggage they carried around was not Just the ammunition and food, but the emotions being carried around In their heads. Physically strong is a much easier thing to achieve compared to mental strength as It waivers with every new event, thought, breath.
The men must maintain themselves for they are in a war, but they do It In way to almost avoid and forget about the tuition.As It states over and over again of how Ted Lavender died, the men cannot wrap their brains around It for fear of falling apart. Seeing someone die, a fallen friend takes a toll on the mind that In this circumstance to survive, the men decided to make Jokes out of It. Chapters 21 and 22 gave myself the Implications that religion Is much more Important to the plot of the book then at first thought.
Religion Is what drives the characters through the story of survival. Through my Interpretations I sawRichard Parker as God, he drove Pi to survival and helped him to understand and see the light that religion teaches. Parker gave Pi the so called "better story": that religion gives. These two chapters are what explains how the story will make the reader believe in God; to believe in the story and to want it to be real you must have that imagination that in chapter 22 it explains it as imagination is given by religion.
People tend to "lack imagination and miss the better story" when they allow for the religious beliefs and and godly actions to be dismissed.