War is kind of a competition. Different teams fight each
other for a variety of reasons, whether it's to claim resources, earn new
territories, or resolve political differences. Louie is well equipped for war
because of his innate competitive spirit (that's part of why the book is called
Unbroken...a less equipped person's story would've required a different title). The same drive that pushes him across the finish line in his track days helps him stay in the race, so to speak, during the war. Like Buzz Lightyear, real competitors never give up, never surrender.
Questions About Competition
When Louie is a runner—before the war—what motivates him to compete so hard?
How is Louie able to utilize his running skills and competitive nature during the war?
Is Louie still competitive after the war, and after the end of his running career?
Chew on This
Louie's competitive drive goes hand-in-hand with his
perseverance. It helps that he mainly competes with <em>himself, </em>to be the best he can be, rather than
trying to be better than others.
To boost morale, the POWs subtly compete with each other to
find out the craziest ways to rebel against their captors. Their competitive
nature keeps them alive.