Chapters 24 – 25

Summary Chapters 24 – 25

Hillenbrand allows the reader to feel a subtle shift in power and in hope in these chapters. The current of hope is similar to the earliest and subtlest signs of spring after a cold, hard winter. The harbingers of hope take many forms, such as the aforementioned secret modes of communication. Other hopeful signs include the air-raid sirens, the graffiti in Tokyo, and the Allied plane in the sky over Tokyo. This B-29, which we learn is taking pictures for use in later attack, is a symbol of foreshadowing, of strength, and of possible shift in power.

Louie’s life seems to follow a pattern in which incredible hardships are followed by incredible miracles. The hope he had for survival and for reuniting with his family are seemingly fulfilled in Chapter Twenty-Five when he is able to communicate with his family, and when his family learns that he is in fact alive. They do not know, of course, know the terrible conditions he faces. Despite the abuse he suffers and the ways in which his body and mind have been ravaged, Louie is paradoxically also lucky because he is still alive. The ability for Louie to communicate with his family is a giant victory for him and for them. It also shows that they were right in believing that Louie was alive, even when the rest of the world had believed and confirmed him to be dead. Here, the reader witnesses the power of hope and possibility of miracles.

Louie has faced an incredible rollercoaster ride of experiences and emotions, and so too has his family. While his family members might believe that the roller-coaster ride is over, Louie and others who know about the POW camps know it is not. While the current has perhaps shifted, victory will be hard-fought.