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Hero's Journey in Unbroken
Transcript of Hero's Journey in Unbroken
The story Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, tells the real life tale of the Olympic Athlete, Louis Zamperini. In her novel she explains the thrilling yet inspiring tale of Zamperini's life, as he goes from a delinquent child to a Olympic medalists to a war hero. Hillendbrand's story highlights Louis's service during World War II as he is faced with many tough problems.
When closely reviewing Hillenbrand's book and Zamperini's life we see that his is life almost perfectly consistent with the hero's archetype other wise known as the Hero's Journey Cycle.
The Hero's normal life, prior to the start of his adventure/journey.
Louis's ordinary world is his home and life in Torrance. In Torrance he is surrounded by family and friends and doing things that he loves such as running and competing as a runner.
The Call to Adventure
The hero is faced with something that makes him begin his adventure; a calling that will pull him out of his ordinary world.
Louis joins the Army Air Corps, but drops out because of him constantly airsickness. Not realizing that when he originally joined the military that he agreed to rejoin, he gets drafted and is now going to be a bombardier.
Meeting with the Mentor
The Hero comes across a mentor that gives him training/advice that will ready him for the journey ahead.
Though Louis does not meet a specific person that gives him advice, Louis does go to a training camp prior to going to war which could be considered a mentor. At the training camp, Louis meets and trains with the men that are going to be part of his plane crew and they are prepared and trained for war. This is otherwise know as the SUPERMAN crew.
Crossing the Threshold
The hero commits to leaving the ordinary world and enters into the special world, or new region or condition.
Following training Louis is stationed at Hickam Field in Hawaii. Moving from the United States to Hawaii can be considered crossing the threshold because this symbolizes Zamperini's entrance in to the war.
Tests, Allies, and Enemies
The Hero is learning about the new world. During this, his strengths are tested, sorts out his allegiances, and come face to face with foes.
Louis and his crew are given a group of missions (test) including:
Bombing Japanese base at Wake Atoll
a sixteen hour flight that tested the limit of the B24
Bombing base at Nauru, which Japanese recently seized
Superman was seriously injured during a long fight with nine Zeros (Japanese fighter planes)
Many of the crewmen were injured and the plane barely made it back safely.
But it made it back with no brakes, a flat tire, leaking hydraulic fluid, and 594 holes.
Death seems to be surrounding the men as their friends die, which is effecting all of them emotionally
The Japanese bomb Funafuti and the men are once again faced with death
Louis and the four other healthy Superman crew members are sent back to Hawaii.
Hero and allies prepare for a major challenge that causes the hero to approach life in a new and different way.
Back in Hawaii the remaining crew members of Superman plus a few were asked to set off on a search mission for a missing plane. Because the Superman was so badly injured from the last mission the crew had to use a new plane. They were given the Green Hornet which was considered the craziest plane and was almost guaranteed to crash.
The hero confronts death or faces their greatest fear.
This step of the journey takes of the majority of Louis's time in the special world. As expected the engines of the Green Hornet began to fail and the men of plane prepared to crash. The plane goes down and Louis is trapped in bunch of wires and plane parts. He passes out, when he wakes up he pushes away from the plane and reaches the surface of the water. Only Louis, Phil, and Mac survived the crash and where now stranded at sea. The men barely survived being without food or water and in the sweltering weather conditions. The men also had to battle sharks and Japanese planes. Unfortunately, Mac died at sea. Phil and Louis reached land in the Marshall islands after traveling for 46 days on the raft. The they were taken under Japanese control and transported to POW camps. At these camps Louis was starved and mistreated along with hundreds of other POWS. Him and Phil were eventually separated. He was transported to a variety of different camps, abused by a variety of commanders and guards. The most extreme abuser was Mutsuhito Watanabe, otherwise known as bird made it a point to constantly injure and hurt Louis. Towards the wars end, Louis and the rest of the POWs were awaiting the "kill all" command, but surprisingly that never came. The guards began to back off and American bomber began dropping food and supplies for them, as they waited to be rescued.
The Road Back
The hero leaves the special world and makes their way back to the ordinary world.
After two and a half years of being away from home, a train comes and takes the POWs away. Louis and others are flown to a series of places before actually reaching home. Even prior to seeing his family, Louis wishes to be hospitalized. He did not want his mom to see him in the condition that he was in. Once realeased from the hospital the Zamperini family is finally reunited and together once again!
The hero is severely tested once more at home.
Louis tries to get his life back to normal. He meets with old friends and eventually gets married to Cynthia. But his experiences continue to haunt him. He has constant nightmares about the Bird as if he is still attacking him. These nightmares caused Louis to resort to alcohol. Although it helped relieve the pain caused by the Bird, it changed Louis as a person. He began to act violently towards Cynthia, leading her to leave him and file for a divorce. When Cynthia returned to sort out some things with Louis, she went to go see Billy Graham a Christian preacher. When she returned she told Louis that she was no longer going to divorce him. After putting up a fight, Cynthia finally convince Louis to come listen to Billy. After the second night of listening to him speak. Louis becomes a changed man, and we he returns home he gets rid of all his alcohol and cigarettes. He feels like a new creation having overcome his issue.
Return with the Elixir
The hero return to his ordinary life and helps other with the knowledge that he has learned along his journey.
Louis goes on to be a Christian speaker as well. With this he is able to help people, like he was helped by Billy. He is able to live a peaceful life with Cynthia, free of any haunting thoughts about his war past.