Unbroken, By Laura Hillenbrand: Literary Analysis

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In Japanese camps, about four out of every ten POWs died of illness, starvation or at the hands of the guards. Louis Zamperini had been an Olympic runner until the war started, and became a bombardier. He ended up being captured after the B-24 he had flown in crashed, and he became a POW for more than three years. Mutsuhiro Watanabe, a former Imperial Japanese Army sergeant during World War 2, had made it his top priority to break Louie’s resilience, and abused him daily. In Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, character is used to illustrate the theme war and conflict have profound and varied effects on individuals. After the war, numerous POWs suffered from PTSD, due to the harsh treatment at the camps. During the war, POWs were degraded, resulting …show more content…
After Mutsuhiro Watanabe arrived at Omori, “he became a monster. He beat POWs every day, fracturing their windpipes, rupturing their eardrums, shattering their teeth, tearing one man’s ear half off, tying another to a tree for days” (174). Watanabe constantly abused POWs, and became one of the most vicious guards in Japan. Some speculated that torturing the POWs gave him power that his rank did not; he did not get the rank he expected and desired, and that caused his mind to derail. As American bombers kept dropping bombs near Omori, “the Bird’s mania deepened... The Bird would snap, running with sword in the air, wailing, foam flying from his mouth, face purple” (192). Evidently, he panicked when the bombs were falling, and the Americans were getting closer. After being introduced to Watanabe by the farmer, “The woman was taken with the handsome waiter and lingered in the coffee shop to be near him. He kept his identity secret from her…. After much thought, Watanabe decided he had to leave her. All he told her was that he had a burden that would make her unhappy” (260). Due to what he had done before, Watanabe had to leave the woman he loved, since it was not safe for either of them. If he had stayed, he would have been caught. Watanabe may not have always been this way, but his mind seemed to derail terribly during the