Unbroken

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The only other survivor of the plane crash, Mac is a new army recruit and almost immediately loses all hope for survival on the raft. Mac’s hopelessness and selfishness endanger Louie and Phil’s lives when Mac eats all the rations. But Mac’s sense of responsibility drives him to redemption, risking his own life to protect Louie and Phil from the sharks. In the end, Mac lacks the resilience to survive, dying on the raft from malnourishment.

Francis “Mac” McNamara Quotes in Unbroken

The Unbroken quotes below are all either spoken by Francis “Mac” McNamara or refer to Francis “Mac” McNamara . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Random House edition of Unbroken published in 2010.
Chapter 13 Quotes

The realization that Mac had eaten all of the chocolate rolled hard over Louie. In the brief time that Louie had known Mac, the tail gunner had struck him as a decent, friendly guy, although a bit of a reveler, confident to the point of flippancy. The crash had undone him. Louie knew that they couldn’t survive for long without food, but he quelled the thought. A rescue search was surely under way.

Related Characters: Louis “Louie” Zamperini , Francis “Mac” McNamara
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

At this point in the story, Louie is trapped on a life raft with his fellow soldiers Phil and Mac. Mac is a good man, but he panics in the face of such sudden danger--here, for instance, he sneaks into the rations and eats all the chocolate. Louie is understandably angry with Mac for stealing the food that will keep them alive, and yet Louie remains calm and collected. He looks ahead to the future, optimistically. The same qualities that made Louie such a talented runner--his drive, his optimism, etc.--make him good in a crisis, too. He doesn't wallow in his own anger and frustration; instead, he remains singularly focused on the goal, rescue--the rest is details.

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Chapter 14 Quotes

Mac had never seen combat, didn’t know these officers, and was largely an unknown quantity to himself. All he knew about his ability to cope with this crisis was that on the first night, he had panicked and eaten the only food they had. As time passed and starvation loomed, this act took on greater and greater importance, and it may have fed Mac’s sense of futility.

Related Characters: Francis “Mac” McNamara
Page Number: 154
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Hillenbrand contrasts the experience of Mac, a new recruit to the military, with that of Phil and Louie on the life raft. Mac is young and unused to crises, and he feels devastatingly guilty about having stolen all the chocolate on the first night in the raft. As a result, Mac becomes depressed and anxious during his time at sea--he can't force himself to envision a future in which he survives the danger and goes back home.

The passage reminds us how extraordinary Louie's willpower is. Not just anybody can focus so single-mindedly on a bright future--many of us are more like Mac, focusing on the worst possible outcome and allowing our guilt and self-doubt to consume us.

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Francis “Mac” McNamara Character Timeline in Unbroken

The timeline below shows where the character Francis “Mac” McNamara appears in Unbroken. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10: The Stinking Six
War and Identity  Theme Icon
...assigns Louie, Phil, and Cuppernell to another crew. The only person of note is Francis “Mac” McNamara, who has a reputation for having a sweet tooth. They are also given another... (full context)
Chapter 12: Downed
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
On the surface, Phil and Mac stay afloat by holding on to some of the plane’s debris. Phil has a bleeding... (full context)
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
As Louie takes stock of the rations, Mac starts to scream and shout that they’re all going to die. Louie tries to calm... (full context)
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
...sharks rub their backs along the bottom of the raft. While Phil and Louie sleep, Mac stays wide awake, terrified at what may come. (full context)
Chapter 13: Missing at Sea
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
Dignity Theme Icon
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
...in the morning, he goes to divvy up the morning’s rations only to find that Mac had eaten all the chocolate during the night. Realizing Mac acted out of panic, Louie... (full context)
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
...day at sea, they finish all the water. After saying almost nothing the entire time, Mac snaps and begins screaming again that they’re going to die. Louie slaps him again and... (full context)
Chapter 14: Thirst
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
Dignity Theme Icon
War and Identity  Theme Icon
...the men collect some of the water in a makeshift hat. Louie starts to resent Mac for eating the chocolates but says nothing, believing that Mac’s guilt about eating the rations... (full context)
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
...bait to catch a small fish. Eating the fish revives Louie’s and Phil’s spirit, but Mac remains unchanged. Phil worries that killing a friendly albatross will bring them bad luck. This... (full context)
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
...trivia, telling stories, and recounting all the good food they have eaten in their lives. Mac doesn’t join in. (full context)
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
Dignity Theme Icon
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
...the past, Phil and Louie remain confident in their ability to survive the ordeal. But Mac, a new recruit who never saw action, becomes more depressed. His guilt over eating the... (full context)
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
War and Identity  Theme Icon
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
...week mark, Louie begins to pray out loud. They catch a second albatross and feed Mac its blood, hoping the nourishment will revive his spirits. On the sixth day without water,... (full context)
Chapter 15: Sharks and Bullets
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
...on the raft but the plane turns around and prepares to shoot again. Phil and Mac are too weak to jump into the ocean so they take their chances on the... (full context)
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
...in the snout. After the plane passes, Louie climbs back onto the raft and finds Mac and Phil unharmed. Four more times the plane tries to kill them and each time... (full context)
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
Dignity Theme Icon
Redemption and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...Louie patches up the raft, Phil pumps in air. With a renewed sense of life, Mac uses an oar to hit the sharks when they come close to the raft. They... (full context)
Survival and Resilience  Theme Icon
...Louie and Phil predict that they’ll arrive at land in three weeks. Not saying anything, Mac’s burst of life vanishes and he slips even deeper into despair. (full context)
Chapter 16: Singing in the Clouds
Dignity Theme Icon
Redemption and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
War and Identity  Theme Icon
One day while Louie stares into the ocean, a shark lunges at him. Luckily Mac beats the sharks away before it can injure Louie. Smiling, Mac proves himself a necessary... (full context)
Dignity Theme Icon
Redemption and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
War and Identity  Theme Icon
As the days pass, Mac grows thinner, eventually dying from malnutrition. Although he began his journey on the raft as... (full context)