In the fall of 1950, Louie arrives at the Sugamo Prison in Japan to meet his former captors. In the time after Billy Graham’s sermon, Louie begins a career as a Christian speaker, telling his wartime stories in order to inspire others to find God.
In the context of these Christian-influenced chapters, Louie takes another step towards redemption,. It’s not just that he spreads the word of God through his personal story in order to inspire others to renew their faiths. It’s that in meeting with (and implicitly forgiving) the men who oversaw his hellish experiences in the Japanese POW camps that he fully practices what he preaches.
With his bitterness and rage gone, Louie rekindles his marriage with a renewed sense of love. Louie decides to travel to Japan and meet his prison guards in order to test if he can preserve his newfound sense of peace.
Louie’s decision to explore the limits of his faith shows that the old Louie, who was always pushing his limits, is finally back in action. Louie’s redemption also returns to him other qualities like his compassion and capacity for love.
At the camp, Louie learns that the Bird had killed himself. All Louie feels is compassion and forgiveness for the man whose life is now beyond redemption. Finally, for Louie, it feels like the war has ended.
To find redemption and free himself of the Bird, Louie had to forgive him. Louie pities the Bird, realizing that he never had a chance to free himself of the burden of sin and the lust for violence.
The head of the prison camp asks Louie’s former captors to come forward. Seized by a childlike sense of enthusiasm, Louie rushes to each man with a radiant smile and outstretched hands.
Louie is eager to forgive his captors because he has learned that forgiveness, rather than violence or revenge, is the path to redemption and inner peace.