Outliers Character Analysis

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Unbroken Malcom Gladwell defines an outlier as a man or woman who, for one reason or another, is so accomplished and so extraordinary and so outside of the ordinary experience that they are puzzling to the rest of us. Louie Zamperini was one of those people. Louie Zamperini grew up in Torrance, California after arriving from Italy with his family. The town was not excited to welcome Italians into its city limits and the Zamperini’s had to deal with the preconceptions of the community. Louie soon began to cause trouble throughout the neighborhood and earned a bad reputation within the community. As Louie’s behaviors increasingly worsened, his parents were unsure of how to handle him. The police were constantly at their door, the neighbors…show more content…
As Louie was going through his rebellious stage, his brother Pete, who at the time was also setting school records for track, saw capability in Louie and began to coaching him. Louie and Pete trained for hours on end following, what Gladwell called the “10,000 Hour Rule”. “With Pete’s instruction, he ran his entire paper route for the Torrance Herald, to and from school, and to the beach and back,” (Chapter 3). Even as Louie was training in the Air Corps, he still found time to train and run every day. Not only did the “10,000 Hour Rule” come into play with Louie’s running and Olympic goals, but it also came into play during his time in the Air Corps. Due to the new technology that was put into place during the war, there were many men that went missing in action, or even during training runs in the Air Corps. This scared Louie and he began to take classes to learn the proper way to live at sea for a long period of time, if a crash were to occur. He even talked to natives about the dangers of sharks and how to protect himself if a situation arose. His curiosity and preparation would prove vital in his survival later in his…show more content…
When Louie was about two years of age, he came down with an pneumonia. “Soon after, on a pediatrician’s advice, Louise and Anthony decided to move their children to the warmer climates of California.” (Chapter 1) Coming to America may have possibly been a key factor in Louie’s success. If Louie had stayed in Italy, he may not have been allowed the same equal opportunity to run and train to the best of his ability. Not only did living in America sway his amounts of opportunities, but it also changed the culture he grew up in. However, what may be the best example of “The Matthew Effect” in Louie Zamperini’s success, was the time period in which he grew up. “In the 1930s, America was infatuated with the pseudoscience of eugenics and its promise of strengthening the human race by culling the ‘unfit’ from the genetic pool. Along with the ‘feebleminded’, insane, and criminal…”(Chapter 1) When a boy from Louie’s town was deemed feebleminded and barely saved by his parents, Louie was struck with overwhelming fear that he might possibly be next. If this governmental study and event had not taken place, Louie may not have changed his rebellious ways, which allowed him to become one of the most inspirational men in
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