what did the bird do to louie

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. Shortform has the worlds best summaries of books you should be reading.

The Bird in Unbroken, whose real name was Mutsuhiro Watanabe, was a corporal in charge of discipline at the POW camp where Louis Zamperini was interned. The Bird in Unbroken was known to be ruthless and violent, and he especially targeted Louis.

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This piece is taken from Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken” shortform summary. The world’s greatest book summaries can be found on Shortform.

Beneath the cruelty, though, lay a desperate desire to be liked and accepted. Watanabe frequently displayed regret after receiving a beating, sobbing and expressing regret while giving the men cigarettes and sweets in an effort to win their love. But these brief reprieves were short-lived; an hour after he apologized, he would lose his temper and start abusing again. Because Louie was an Olympian and an officer, he was the ideal target for his particular taste in abuse—he preferred to target men who had achieved success in civilian life.

In Unbroken, the character known as The Bird (actual name: Mutsuhiro Watanabe) served as a corporal overseeing discipline at the POW camp where Louis Zamperini was detained. The violent and vicious Bird from Unbroken was well-known for specifically going after Louis.

Since she can remember, Carrie has been a reader and writer, and she has always been willing to read anything that is placed in front of her. At the age of six, she penned her first short story, which told the tale of a lost dog who makes animal friends on the way home. It surprised her that no major publishers picked it up, but it did ignite her love of reading. Before earning an MFA in creative writing, Carrie spent a number of years working in the book publishing industry. She adores historical fiction, literary fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that delves deeply into the minutiae of everyday life.

Watanabe became increasingly angrier and resentful of senior officers after being moved to Omori. The lowest position in the armed forces was regarded as a post at a prisoner-of-war camp. His feeling of being ignored sparked a monster inside of him, and he vented his rage on the inmates. He was well-known for his brutal beatings, which occasionally left victims with torn ears, broken teeth, ruptured eardrums, and broken windpipes.


What punishment did the bird give to Louie?

Louie is responsible for keeping the goat alive, but when the goat dies, the Bird orders him to hold a six-foot long beam over his head until he cannot. He lasts for thirty-seven minutes before the Bird attacks him by punching him in the stomach.

What did the bird do to Louie in unbroken?

The Bird subjects prisoners to extreme physical and emotional abuse. On different occasions, appears to take sexual pleasure in causing pain. He devotes particular attention to Louie, whom he beats on many occasions. His behavior is erratic and unusually cruel.

Why did the bird target Louie specifically?

He had a particular taste for abusing officers and men who’d been successful as civilians, and as an officer and former Olympian, Louie was the perfect target.

Why did the bird beat on Louis so much?

That was the moment the men realized they were dealing with a psychopath and when the Bird started his greatest hobby—terrorizing Louis. The Bird referred to Louis as “number one prisoner” and beat him daily. Louis tried to blend in with other prisoners and hide, but the Bird hunted him like prey and always found him.