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Autor: anton • November 27, 2010 • 293 Words (2 Pages) • 406 Views
Hiroshima by John Hersey is a journalistic narrative about six survivors of the attack on Hiroshima, Japan. The beginning of the book introduces the six main characters, describing their activities in the moments before the explosion. There are elements of the ordinary in each description, but there is also a fair amount of anxiety and disruption. A common thought in each character's story is the confusion brought upon them by the blast. Many people expect to hear the sound of approaching planes or the warnings or the air raid sirens, but nobody hears anything before the bomb is dropped.
The complete confusion of the citizens of Hiroshima emphasizes the fact that nobody has any idea what happened. While most are prepared for some kind of attack, the power of the bomb comes as a complete surprise. By keeping the main focus of the book on the six main characters, the reader gets a good idea of the damage done.
Some weeks after the explosion, three of the main characters fall victim to radiation sickness. Radiation sickness baffles everyone well into September and afterward, but in the next few months they gradually get better. Because of the sickness radiation causes, many employers are reluctant to hire people with A-bomb sickness in the years after the war, making it difficult for the victims to become an influencing member of society. After the blast, all of the victims Hersey interviews survive, and each of them shows a different aspect of postwar Japanese life.
The story is very well written and is an excellent description of history through the eyes of different survivors of the blast. Because it is a journalistic narrative, the reader gets a feeling of sympathy and hope for the survivors as they read.