Summary and Analysis
Part V Chapter 37: Twisted Ropes
Louie and Cynthia experience hard times in 1947 and 1948. He makes a series of bad investments, can’t hold a job, and spirals into alcoholism. He is angry at religion and forbids Cynthia from going to church. When Cynthia is pregnant, he wakes one night to find himself strangling her in their bed: He has dreamed that she is The Bird. Following many other angry outbursts, Cynthia decides it is time for a divorce.
Louie’s spiritual and emotional torment grows only worse. The Bird was an ever-present evil during Louie’s captivity. Now, after the war’s end, The Bird still haunts the former POW’s thoughts and dreams.
Like many lost souls, Louie directs his anger toward the trappings of God. He divorces himself from religion and demands his wife do the same. He fills his emotional need with dependence on alcohol and becomes consumed with rage and thoughts of murderous revenge. In this lost state, he becomes a danger to himself and to his pregnant wife. It appears as though Louie Zamperini has become irredeemable.