Unbroken Essay

1132 words - 5 pages

Anthony Scaramucci Mr. BairdEnglish 1 9/11/14 Unbroken EssayUnbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is by far the most interesting book that I have read in my young life. I was enthralled by the story and it forced me to think about my own life. The clear message of the book is to never give up and don't let anger or bitterness get in the way of a great life. For without the raw evil of Watanabe Louis' post war life couldn't be so powerful and redeeming. There are so many great plot lines in this book: the rise of Zamperini as an Olympic athlete, his heroism towards his colleagues while on a raft for 27 days, his courage in the camps despite the torture, but his greatness really showed when he was able to transcend his pain and its incumbent bitterness to turn his own life around. This was the most gripping part of the book for me because most people would have acted very differently than Louie if put into the same situation as him. His survival and eventual happy life was a testament to not only his will but to his ability to see into himself and make changes. While there were many significant and meaningful parts to the book, the most compelling parts of the book were Louis Zamperini's life postwar and what he had to do to save himself, and the relationship with Matsuhuro Watanabe, also known as the Bird.Many people who are faced with setbacks or physical and mental traumas never fully recover. This is why Mr. Zamperini's post war life was so significant. After being pummeled and starved at the hands of the Bird and other Japanese guards it was understandable that Louie came home angry, bitter, filled with regret and fueled with vengeance. This is the classic experience of soldiers that have come home from war traumatized by their actual experiences, and are now haunted by their violent memories and have some survivor guilt. Zamperini started off miserable and incapable of making a successful transition back into stateside civilian life. His drinking and then the verbal abuse of his wife almost led to their divorce. He was violent, angry, and an unforgiving man who had constant nightmares of the Bird torturing him. Yet because of his nature and his core values he was able to rise above these feelings and seek a peaceful and happy life. His trigger to change came in the form of a sermon from the Reverend Billy Graham.Billy Graham helped to pull Louis Zamperini out of the darkness. Louis remembered the promise he made to himself on the raft that if he survived he prayed that he would dedicate his life to God. He threw away his cigarettes and stopped the booze. By accepting the power of Jesus Christ he was overwhelmed with a need for forgiveness. He was now capable of being at peace and his nightmares stopped. This part of the story is so significant to me because it is the essence of what Unbroken is about. Despite all of the odds, the combination of his Olympic and military training, good character, sheer will and discipline, Zamperini was able to the...

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