Unbroken: The Power Of Resilience In Louis Zamperini

Hillenbrand’s subtitles for Unbroken is “a World War II story of survival, resilience and redemption”, and this clearly, is her main thematic statement. However, there are sub-themes of these three major ideas. On several occasions, the author explains that the key to survival through such difficult times is through the preservation of human dignity. She illustrates with Louie’s story that the men that had maintained their humanity and dignity, despite horrific inhumane treatment, were the ones that had a much stronger chance of survival.

Hillenbrand distinguishes a string of misfortune and versatility in Louie’s pre-war life. As a child, Louie developed up destitute but his rebellion pushed him to revolt against the restrictions he saw around him. At the time he communicated this rebellion in improper and damaging ways, acting delinquently and taking from neighbors and neighborhood businesses. His adored more seasoned brother, Pete, inevitably made a difference rectify Louie out by giving him an unused challenge: running. Louie poured his assurance into training — which by definition is the proceeded act of giving one’s all and overcoming difficulty through physical and mental resilience — eventually developing as an Olympian who competed at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Hillenbrand conjectures that this encounter with misfortune and the strength such encounters made a difference to construct up permitted Louie to outlive the war. Getting stranded in a life-raft for forty-seven days was fair another impediment or deterrent to overcome. Additionally, after being captured by the Japanese, and subjected to the everyday savageries and mortifications of the Japanese labor camp, Louie never gave in to lose hope or hopelessness.

“Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man's soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it.” 

This quote mentioned in the book, shows the necessity for resilience in people that is shown throughout the entire book and throughout Louis’ entire life.

Louie’s versatility made him able to resist the war but, maybe, made him less able to handle reintegration into ordinary civilian life after the war. Some time recently and amid the war, Louie’s versatility had continuously been characterized against the exceptionally concrete deterrents he confronted, whether that was preparing for the Olympics or surviving on the pontoon or within the Japanese camps. After the war, Louie was confronted instep with the risk of his possess intellect: mental wounds like night fear and flashbacks. He battled against these deterrents much as he did against outside deterrents, in this case curbing them with the utilization of liquor. But that combative versatility had damaging impacts in peacetime, both to himself and his family. It was as it were when Louie found a modern kind of resilience, a conviction in God established on acknowledgment instead of insubordination, that he might mend and redo his civilian life. “When he thought of his history, what resonated with him now was not all that he had suffered but the divine love that he believed had intervened to save him.” This quote brings the whole story of resilience and redemption into play.

Louis’ incredible story of courage, resilience, and redemption is a true representation of his life. From a trouble-making child, to a prisoner in a Japanese concentration camp, and even at the end of his life, struggling with PTSD, Louis should the power of courage and resilience. 

16 August 2021
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