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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
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Unbroken > Is Louis Zamperini different from us? If so, how?

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message 1: by Jim (last edited Nov 09, 2012 03:35PM) (new)

Jim  (yimmy_d) | 15 comments Mod
Author Chris McDougall talked about this in our episode: Is there something different about Louis Zamperini? "Zamperini is different, but how?" he asks. McDougall's own book, BORN TO RUN, is about characters in extreme circumstances (although in their case, they put themselves in those extreme circumstances), and he wondered the same about them: How do they do it? How does ultramarathon runner Scott Jurek defy odds by winning 100-mile races time and time again? Is there something special about these people that we're not quite putting into words? Is there something special about Zamperini that enabled him to survive it all - a plane crash, weeks at sea without food or water, years of torture and brutality at POW camps, then the mental anguish of PTSD?

message 2: by Kelsi (new)

Kelsi | 8 comments Mod
I think it's impossible to know how we will react to extreme circumstances until we are faced with them, so it's hard to compare ourselves to Zamperini. I don't think Zamperini is a superhuman, but I do think he possessed, even before the war, the inherent qualities - courage, perseverance, strength of character - that allowed him to withstand the trials he eventually faced. That said, I think those traits exist in each of us in varying degrees, and can be cultivated. Not all of us could survive what Zamperini survived, but I think all of us would be surprised at what we could withstand if we had no other choice. This is a pretty frequently reoccurring theme in literature - Lord of the Flies, Night, even The Hunger Games. We cannot always control our circumstances, but we can control, to some extent, the attitude and attributes with which we meet them.

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