Unbroken, By Laura Hillenbrand: Literary Analysis

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What is considered a pseudoscience today was once a social movement that spread in the United States before making its entrance into Nazi Germany during WW2. Based on the goal of improving genetic features of human populations through selective breeding and sterilization, eugenics separated the superior and inferior elements of society; a sure sign of lawless persecution rather than scientific genetics. Among those unlucky candidates whose lives were soon to be culled was Louis Zamperini; an accomplished war-hero and Olympic athlete. Laura Hillenbrand’s nonfiction novel, Unbroken, tells a story of “Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.” However beneath the glories of Zamperini lies a menacing trouble-maker- Louie. Louie realizes that he…show more content…
His many attempts to make a change had failed because of the years that he spent leaving a negative imprint of himself on the people surrounding his life. “He scrubbed the kitchen floor to surprise his mother, but she assumed that Pete had done it. While his father was out of town, Louie overhauled the engine on the family’s Marmon Roosevelt Straight-8 sedan. He baked biscuits and gave them away; when his mother, tired of the mess, booted him from her kitchen, he resumed baking in a neighbor’s house.”(Hillenbrand 12) Having realized that these efforts didn’t reflect his true self, Louie’s attempts have all gone down the drain. However, Louie’s response to the eugenics movement holds a positive effect and this can be observed in Louie’s acceptance to the fact that he had to improve himself in order to improve his circumstances. “Lost in longing, Louie imagined himself on a train, rolling into country he couldn’t see, growing smaller and more distant until he disappeared.”(Hillenbrand 12) When Louie jumps a train to leave Torrance behind, he ends up being forced to jump out by a railroad detective with an un-holstered gun. Although Louie realizes the despair of his own situation and goes back home, Louie’s sense of actually wanting something in life can be a cause of his successful future. From there on out, Louie puts motivation into something that actually reflects his true self; running. The eugenics movement in Torrance had a hidden contribution to all of these events because, in a way, it triggered something in Louie that forced him to reveal his potential. Him holding a strong desire reflects upon the kind of life that he wants to have; and that would be a bright

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