Summary and Analysis
Part IV Chapter 23: Monster
At the Omori POW camp, Louie meets the man who will torment him for the rest of his life. Designated as Omori’s “disciplinary officer,” Corporal Mutsuhiro Watanabe is a psychopathic, sadistic, mentally unstable guard who is given free reign over the prisoners. He administers crippling beatings whenever he wants to and delights in devising new ways to humiliate and torture the POWs. The American captives nickname him “The Bird,” choosing it only because the name has no negative connotations that will get the POWs beaten. Omori is also a slave camp where the POWs work forced labor, enduring starvation rations along with The Bird’s constant physical and psychological abuse. At Omori, Louie becomes The Bird’s personal obsession.
Mutsuhiro “The Bird” Watanabe is Louie’s personal hell, Satan in disguise. From almost day one at Omori, this psychopath becomes the adversary from whom Louie simply cannot escape. The Bird not only takes over Louie’s waking life, he invades the POW’s dreams, intrudes on his thoughts, and instills only terror and hatred with each passing day. He is almost omnipresent in his control over Louie, and he’s the man who will break Louie emotionally, psychologically, and physically.