Unbroken Themes

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Olympic runner Louis Zamperini was quoted after WW11, “To persevere is important to everybody. Don’t give up, don’t give in. There is always an answer to everything” (Louis Zamperini Quotes). In the novel Unbroken, written by Lauren Hillenbrand, American Louis Zamperini’s incredible life story is told. Growing up Louie is painted as a defiant, stubborn kid, who is always getting into trouble. As he grows and matures he hangs on to that part of his childhood through being a runner and the war. He survives the death of his friends, being stranded on a raft for 47 days, Kwajalein ‘execution’ Island, varius POW camps, and alcoholism after the war. Louie kept his dignity through immense hardships because of the resilience he had as a child. Louie’s…show more content…
Still his greatest challenge was ahead; Mutsuhiro “the Bird” Watanabe. Under his reign Louie would be pushed past his breaking point, humiliated, and beat, but still stay true to himself. “Of all the violent and vile abuses that the Bird had inflicted upon Louie, non had horrified and demoralized him as this did. If anything is going to shatter me, Louie thought, this is it” (Hillenbrand 291). Louie was taken off work duty because his is injured, but begs for a job so he can keep a higher food ration. The Bird forces him to clean up after a pig with his bare hands. Although pushed through this Louie was able to find small victories such as racing civilians which boosted his moral immensely. “He knew what would happen if he won, but the cheering and the accumulation of so many months of humiliation brought something in him to a hard point. He lengthened his stride, seized the lead, and crossed the finish line” (Hillenbrand 216). He was knocked out with a club after this, but that was nothing compared to the feeling of his win. Louie was later punished by holding a beam above his head for as long as he could for supposedly letting the goat that he was taking care of die. “He felt his consciousness slipping, his mind losing adhesion, until all he knew was a single thought: He cannot break me. Across the compound, the Bird had stopped laughing” (Hillenbrand 302). Severely starved, underweight, and scarred; Louie held the beam for 37 minutes. Because of Louie’s defiance he held on to his dignity though life as a
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