The Graf Zeppelin was a giant German airship that flew around the world in 1929. When the Zeppelin passed over Louie
’s home in California one night, it created a black absence in the sky by blotting out the light from the stars. Like a black hole that destroys everything around it, the Zeppelin represents the approaching war that will blot out many lives and bring so much suffering to the world’s citizens. The Zeppelin also represents the metaphoric black hole that the war will open inside Louie. Causing him to develop a drinking problem and a serious mental illness called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the war obliterates everything good in his life, including his optimism, his ability to express love for his friends and family, and the joy of running. Only religion and a renewed sense of self-worth save Louie from being consumed by the black hole inside of him.