Summary and Analysis
Part III Chapter 12: Downed
Only three men survive the crash of the Green Hornet: Louie; Phil, who is injured; and the new tail gunner, Mac. The rest of Louie’s crew perishes in the sea. The survivors have two small rafts and very little supplies, including nutrition-packed chocolate designed for survival situations. They agree to ration the chocolate between them: one piece in the morning, one piece in the evening. Sharks circle around them. They hope for rescue as night falls.
At this point in the story, Louie’s physical circumstances begin to mirror his spiritual and emotional journey. The vast Pacific Ocean, filled with sharks and empty of hope, symbolizes a type of purgatory for Louie. It’s a place where he is completely lost to the world, helpless to do more than simply try to survive from one day to the next.
Previously in his life, when Louie is on the path to destruction, a “savior” of some kind appears. For example, Pete intervenes and pulls him away from crime; the Army Air Corps drafts Louie and gives him meaning and purpose in life. This time, however, there is no redeemer. Louie is truly lost.