Louie has been an over-aggressive and aimless child who was brought back to a normal life. Running gave him a way of concentrating on himself. After that, the cancellation of Tokyo Olympics in 1940 shattered him emotionally. This is story of human survival from the core. Most of Louie’s life was spent in struggling for getting back the ‘normalcy’ of his life. In his childhood, he struggled to acquire an aim in life.
His elder brother Pete acted like a father and helped him in doing so. Athletics became the point of stability of his life. People started calling him “Torrance Tornado” (Hillenbrand, 2010). Then his dream shattered with the cancellation of 1940 Olympics in Tokyo, which is why he joined army and became a bombardier. It can be said that the title of the book “Unbroken” aptly justifies the story. Indeed, Hillenbrand tells her readers how Louie succeeded remaining “unbroken” in the most pain-stricken situations. The following section will analyze the character of Louie in order to conclude how his life shaped up.
New journalism is developed in the 60s as a popular style of news writing. Gradually, it was adopted in literary works as well. Hillenbrand in Unbroken not only depicted the story of people but also the story of that time as well (Smith, 2013). New journalism is an effective way of presenting truths and facts. Her clever use of verbal pyrotechnics made the whole narrative very focused.
The entire story revolves around Louie Zamperini. There is no other protagonist in this story. There are a few supporting characters who contributed to the life of Louie and influenced him explicitly and implicitly. His brother Pete and his wife Cynthia have been the support pillars of Louie’s life. They dragged him back from a downfall. Louie’s life has never been smooth at all. Watanabe or “The Bird” was the medium of all tortures and abuses when he was captured as POW. Louie showed an excellent ability of self-control during his toughest phase of life. When he was released, he married but those haunted memories directly got him into PTSD and alcoholism. He even caused domestic violence on Cynthia. However, it was the sadism he faced in the Japanese war camps led him to behave so horribly. Cynthia started to incorporate religious inclinations into him and that became therapeutic for Louie (Kirsch, 2011). Through providing service to the mankind on the basis of Christian beliefs, he finally let go his uncontrollable grudges against his torturer. The characterization of Louie is not much complicated, but he went through many complicated hurdles in his life.
Symbol of food has recurred many times in the book. In childhood, Louie stole food and money. Stealing was more of a habit than necessity then. When he was lost and floating on the sea, food became the necessity but there was no chance of stealing. Open space has been imagery in this book. He was fascinated with running but his dream of becoming an athlete and Olympic winner remained unfulfilled.