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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and
Transcript of Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and
Presentation By: Shem Ricarte
Book By: Laura Hillenbrand
American Author Laura Hillenbrand was born on May 15,1967 at Fairfax, Virginia. She has written multiple works, with Seabiscuit: An American Legend and Unbroken: A World War II Story as the most notable books. She studied at Kenyon College, but was forced to drop out before graduating because she contracted Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Her parents are Elizabeth Marie Dwyer, a child psychologist, and Bernard Francis Hillenbrand, a minister.
Author Laura Hillenbrand
Louis "Louie" Zamperini started out his childhood as a rogue ,pickpocket, and generally a nuisance, constantly running from his family to explore. As he grew up, he began a life of thievery, stealing food from homes, stores, parties, practically anything. He would set up systems to steal money from telephones, faking fights with other kids to earn money, and get revenge with people who wronged him in extreme ways. Zamperini, along with his two sisters (Sylvia and Virginia), idolized his brother, Pete. Pete was the exact opposite of Zamperini, radiating an impressive authority that even convinced adults to his opinion. Zamperini got worse as he grew into his teens, growing a short-temper and learning how to fight. When he went to Torrance High, Zamperini knew this would be the highest his education could go. His father's paycheck was barely enough for the week. After the government began the "sterilization" of California (Euthanasia), Zamperini, a known troublemaker with flunking grades and an Italian (Italians were discriminated at the time), suddenly realized that he could be "sterilized".
Louie's rehabilitation began when Pete got Louie to join the Torrance High track team. Every day, Pete forced Zamperini to train, and he eventually became the first Torrance kid to get into the All City Finals. For a period of time, Louie got into an arguement with his father. He left with his friend, but eventually had to come home when he ran out of money. Zamperini began running every day. He found his role model, Glenn Cunningham, the greatest miler in American History. In 10th grade, Zamperini began running with Pete and 13 other college runners at UCLA's Southern California Cross Country meet. Winning every single race, he broke multiple records, like the National High School mile [The record stood for 19 years].Zamperini's new goal were the 1936 Olympics. Louie graduated High School in December, 1935, and he accepted USC's scholarship. Louie wasn't going to make the 1,500 because he was too young. Unable to catch up to his opponents. Louie began training for the 5,000 meter instead, eventually qualifying alongside Norman Bright. During the NCAA 5,000 meter, New York was hit with the hottest summer in America, a record breaking 106 degrees.
After Louie finished basic training, he exited as a Second Lieutenant. He was assigned to the U.S Airbase at Ephrata, Washington. Louie met the friend that would stay with him during the war all the way until they got separated at a prison camp, Russel Allen Phillips. Along with their 8 other crew members, Louie joined the 372nd Bomb Squadron of the 307th. They were assigned to B-24 Liberator, a new U.S Plane that was extremely dangerous, killing 14,903 personnel in stateside aircraft accidents. For all of the ruggedness of the B-24, the crew considered it their home. Training stopped short and called for war, the "Super Man" (Nickname of the plane) left for duty on Novermber 2, 1942. The 372nd squadron was sent to Base Kahuku. After days of endless training, pranks on egotistical Commanding Officers, and on one patrol mission, "scare the hell out of them" [A U.S submarine that failed to show their identication codes, so the crew decided to pretend to dive bomb them], the crew were dispatched three days before Christmas. Their mission was to bomb the Japanese base on Wake Atoll. The mission was a success, with no U.S casualties. The "Super Man" barely made it, since their bomb bay was stuck open, draining fuel. Day after day, the U.S suffered casualties, from malfunctions, inablity to land, combat, etc.
"This self-respect and sense of self-worth, the innermost armament of the soul, lies at the heart of humanness; to be deprived of it is to be dehumanized, to be cleaved from, and cast below, mankind. Men subjected to dehumanizing treatment experience profound wretchedness and loneliness and find that hope is almost impossible to retain. Without dignity, identity is erased. It its absence, men are defined not by themselves, but by their aptors and the circumstances in which they are forced to live.
Louis Silvie Zamperini was deprived, not only of food, water, or basic necessities, he was deprived of his dignity. Without their dingnity, the P.O.Ws broke easily. Louis, when trapped on Kwajalein, was humiliated by the guards. They spat on him, threw gravel, deprived him of water, forced him to get up and dance, and experimented on him with possibly lethal solutions. Without dignity, Louis was forever scarred, reminiscent of the beatings that occured every day. Almost every single POW came home, nightmares every night of their captors. Today, those men are considered to have P.T.S.D- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
After approximatley 2 years (August 26, 1943 to August 22, 1945) of torture, imprisonment, and relocation between Japanese Interrogation camps and POW camps, Louie Zamperini and his fellow Prisoners of War were able to relax. The Japanese Emperor signed documents of surrender, and U.S bombers were beginning to drop care packages over POW camps. On September 5th, all of the POWs boarded trains to head back to U.S camps set up. Four days later, The Zamperinis' recieved word of Louie's survival. When Louie came home, all was well, until someone played Louie's broadcast to his family. When he heard it, the memories of his torture suddenly seized him, causing him to yell. He sat on the floor, shivering, while his sister broke the tape. Days later, Louie was bombarded with reporters, eventually having to be assigned tour dates by the Department of Defence. He soon met Cynthia Applewhite at a club. Several days later, he already asked her to marry him. After days of arguments from Cynthia's family, Louie and Cynthia decided to get married immediately. On their honeymonon, they went to Louie's favorite mountain. Every night, Louie would be plagued with nightmares about the "Bird", screaming every night. Louie fell into a deep depression, drinking every night. After Cynthia had her child and Louie drank even more, she filed for divorce. Cynthia convinced him to go to Billy Graham. After several sessions, Louie had a flashback, where he prayed to God that he would serve him if God saved him. After the sermon, Louie threw out all of his Liquor, his cigaretts, and his perverted magazines. Louie was a changed man.
Rising Action (Cont.)
Don Lash and Louie Zamperini were side by side at
the finish line. The
announcer first called out Louie as the winner, but was mistaken. Zamperini made it into the Olympic team. Unfortunatley, Norman Bright was 5th, two places away. Arriving at the Olympic stadium, the athletes noticed Nazi banners over practically everything, uniformed men all over the area, and aircraft that swooped over tourists, even though aircraft were strictly prohibited through the Versailles Treaty [The treaty ordered the Germans to disarm their military]. During the competition, Louie, unfortunatley, did not win a medal. Instead, he finished the final lap around the field in 56 seconds, the fastest run by a miler ever done. When most of the athletes left, Germany's Anti-Semetic nature reappeared, as noted by some of the other athletes. Then, the war kicked into overdrive. Japan began ravaging China, while the Germans invaded Poland. Dropping out, missing just a few credits to graduate, Louis enlisted in the United States Air Force.
Climax/Turning Point (Cont.)
On April 17th, the "Super Man" and 22 other B-24s were going to bomb Nauru, a huge Japanese supplier of phosphate. On their way home, 8 Japanese Zeros hunted them down, badly damaging the "Super Man". Half the crew was hit, and all the gunners were critically wounded. The morning after the attack, the Japanese retaliated, devastating the U.S base. After being evacuated, the rest of the crew wes reassigned to the 42nd squad of the 11th. Several days later, they were assigned to a Search and Rescue operation. Mid-flight, their plane's engine failed. Unable to restart the engines, they ditched [Crash into water] the "Green Hornet", which would forever scar and change Louis Silvie Zamperini's life. For 46 days, Louie and Phil (Their gunner, Mac, was lost along the way) survived on the raft. On the 47th day, they finally were saved, but by the Japanese. They were treated, given food, and cared for. After three days, a freighter took them to Kwajalein, or Execution Island. They were humiliated and basically tortured for days. On August 26, Louie and Phil were sent to POW camps. After being transfered to multiple POW camps, the most notable one was the Naoetsu camp, where Mutsuhiro Watanabe tormented him, scarring him for life.
Louie, with what little money he had, purchased a campsite and begun work, creating Victory Camp. Taking in troubled boys, he transformed the ruffians, renewing them. He also took up preaching sermons and worked as a supervisor at the First Presbyterian Church. He was rewarded an absurd number of awards, and several places were dedicated to him, like the Lomita Flight Strip, a USC Plaza, and the Torrance High stadium. He was chosen to carry the Olympic torch for several years. He stayed healthy and athletic, climbing mountains, going on runs, and in his seventies, skateboarding. Never angry, he was a changed man. His sister succumed to melanoma, then Pete, and months later, his other two sisters, Sylvia and Payton Jordan. Cynthia succumbed to cancer in 2001. While chatting with someone at the 1998 Olympics, he discovered that the bird was still alive. On January 22, 1998, Louie carried the torch that would begin the Winter Olympics.
On July 2nd, 2014, Louis Silvie "Louie" Zamperini succumbed to pneuonia at his home, at 97.
Not going to be in actual presentation
I chose this scene from the move because although it is different from the book, this scene is crucial, as it displays the beginning of Mutsuhiro "The Bird" Watanabe's tyrannical control over Louis Zamperini and the other POWs.
Not going to be in actual presentation
Unbroken is, so far, the best book I have ever read. Louis Silvie Zamperini's travel throughout the world will hook you in. I couldn't stop reading when I first started. But I will warn you, this book is for the more mature mind. The imprisonment scenes are vivid and abhorrent. For those of you who don't mind some nauseating images when you get further into the book, I HIGHLY recommend this book to you.