Hiroshima, By John Hersey

Good Essays
Hersey, John. Hiroshima. New York: n.p., 1946. Print. Before John Hersey’s novel, Hiroshima, Americans viewed Japanese as cruel and heartless people. This warped perspective caused the majority of American citizens to feel complacent about the use of the atomic bomb against civilians. Americans, in many ways, were blinded by their own ignorance to notice the severity of the destruction suffered by not only the city of Hiroshima but, more importantly, the people who lived there. The six testimonies in Hiroshima illustrate the strength and optimistic attitude of the Japanese people. In this essay, I will discuss the feelings towards the ethics surrounding the use of the atomic bomb, next I will look at two testimonies and how their lives…show more content…
Total war is the idea that there are no restrictions on weapons used, territory or people involved, and the laws of war are generally disregarded. In total war, “there [is] no difference between civilian and soldiers” (118). Many people believed that since, “It was war and we had to expect it” (117) and by it they meant the worst.
Hiroshima covers the lives of six survivors of the atomic bomb in detail but right now we are going to focus on how Mrs. Nakamura and Mr. Tanimoto initially reacted to the bomb and how their lives were effected afterwards. Mrs. Nakamura is a widow and a mother of three children. Her and her family are left homeless and jobless after the bomb destroyed her house. While neither her nor her children suffer any immediate harm following the bomb, both Mrs. Nakamura and her daughter, Myeko, contract radiation poising later on as a side effect of prolonged exposure to large amounts of radiation. Mrs. Nakamura will suffer from radiation poison which will take away her ability to work. With no work or money, her and her family will fall into extreme poverty. Eventually, Mrs. Nakamura is employed and becomes finically stable. While it was no easy task, she, like many other Japanese citizens, started a new life for themselves and families. Mr. Tanimoto underwent the most drastic lifestyle change from before the bomb went off to his life afterwards by far. Mr. Tanimoto is a Methodist pastor and initially
Get Access