Part Two, Chapters 6 – 7

Summary Part Two, Chapters 6 – 7

At this point, Louie’s war story might seem like a simple hero story of American success. The crew and their symbolically named plane, Super Man, seem to defeat the enemy and overcome other obstacles with relative ease. Chapter Seven ends with many of the men thinking that their strike has been a definitive one and that the Japanese will not be able to hold out for long. They even remarked that they might get to return home soon. In a bit of foreshadowing, Hillenbrand mentions that Louie wrote to his mother that this kind of thinking seemed premature. Little did Louie know how much longer his specific role in the war would go on, but his analysis of this attack shows him to be a level-headed and calculating soldier, not easily excited, and understanding of the reality and scale of war. As Louie has already experienced in his lifetime, life has a way of introducing additional obstacles after a person has successfully navigated the first one. In The Odyssey and in other hero stories, the protagonist is often punished for hubris, or excessive pride. Across works of Western literature, the hero’s journey often requires the defeat of pride and the acquisition of humility.