Dehumanization In Unbroken

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Overcoming Dehumanization “Louie watched the sky and hoped the Americans would come before the Bird killed him” (181). This is one of the many examples of how the way POWs were treated in these camps influenced many lives negatively. Like many other Prisoners of War, Louie Zamperini survived several difficult conditions. He had to resist several attempts of dehumanization. In Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand uses both internal and external conflict to show that war has profound and varied effects on individuals. First of all, the theme, war has profound and varied effects on individuals, is shown in Louie before captivity through his optimism in survival. Before captivity, Louie’s optimism of surviving was shown throughout many of the intelligent …show more content…

Even though war affected Louie negatively, his resilience and agency assisted him as well as his optimism in resisting dehumanization during captivity. Louie had to resist several attempts of making him feel invisible and making him feel like he was less than human by being resilient, optimistic, and having agency, along with many other POWs. First of all, Louie resisted the Bird’s several attempts to break him down emotionally. This is shown in the text, when the author stated, “The Bird demanded that Louie looked him in the eyes; Louie wouldn’t do it. The Bird tried to knock Louie down; Louie wouldn’t fall. Other prisoners told him to give in or the Bird would beat him to death. Louie couldn’t do it” (181). This shows how although Louie was tortured by the Bird, who attempted to make him feel invisible and dehumanized, he never let him win. Next, Louie stole food from the guards to make him feel like he was doing something. This is shown when the author explained how, “Eventually, he was so frantic to eat that he broke into the kitchen and stole chestnuts reserved for the guards, an act that could’ve gotten him killed” (165). This was important to his survival, because not only was he having something to eat, but emotionally he felt that he wasn’t playing the ‘rules of Japan’s game’. Lastly, to resist attempts of dehumanization, Louie never let any of the guards see his true depression. This is shown

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