1st and 2nd Hour
Unbroken - POWs Made Invisible?
Wars can be loud and visible or quiet and remote. Wars can affect each individual of an entire society, including soldiers and civilian. In Laura Hillenbrand’s novel, Unbroken, Louie Zamperini, just like all other Japanese POWs, is imprisoned and is denied basic human rights. Louie experiences efforts to make him and other POWs feel “invisible” through dehumanization and isolation in the Japanese camps in WWII, but resist these efforts.
Louie, even at a very young age, was a visible man. His rebellious ways as a child and then his athletic accomplishments always put him in the spotlight. He and other POWs experiences effort that will make them feel “invisible” by the Japanese. On page 179, Louie looks at himself in the mirror and only sees “a dead body breathing” Hillenbrand also mentions that “without dignity, identity is erase.” (183) The constant threats to their lives, starvation, and the beatings strip them of their identity to a point that will erase their dignity. They also didn’t register Louie with on the Red Cross roster, making him “invisible”. (240) This makes communication with the outside world impossible, since to the world and his family, Louie has vanished. The Bird also makes Louie really want to be invisible. “Louie try to conceal himself in groups of men” (241) The Bird becomes his worst nightmare that he actually wants to become invisible by hiding to avoid the officer’s inconsistent and cruel behavior. After thirteen months into imprisonment, Louie is declared dead by the U.S. military and becomes invisible.
Louie, however, does what he can do to resist the Japanese effort to make him “invisible.” Louie repeatedly...