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Hiroshima Book Evaluation - Mercado

Hiroshima Book Evaluation - Mercado

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11/23/2012

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Book Evaluation

Denis E. Mercado 11-1-12 6th hour.

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Hersey ,John , Hiroshima, New York, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1989 John Hersey has been widely known for his various book such as A Bell for Adano, The Wall, Antonietta ,Blues and many more. Hersey was a Pulitzer Prize winner and his work was judged as the finest piece of journalism in the 20th century.Born from missionary American parents born in China, Hersey learned to speak Chinese before english . His occupations included teaching, journalism and Novelist. His work took a whole issue of The New Yorker, something that had never been done before, or has since. The title refers to the whole concept of the book, it tells you it revolves around the city where the first atomic bomb was dropped. In this book there are 6 personalized characters , and I believe they are equally important because the bomb affects each of them differently. a Mrs.Hatsuyo Nakamura is a tailor’s widow trying to raise her 3 children on her own, she is displayed as a dedicated caring and resourceful citizen . I would like to point out she is the only person profiled in the book who is in charge of a family.She manages to survive explosion without psychical external harm , however she and her daughter Myeko later are diagnosed with radiation sickness and battle with it for years. Along with that she is the only person who suffers from poverty compared to the other characters , thus she cares more about her children’s’ and her fate rather than the community as a whole.But even with these impediments later she is portrayed without hatred or resentment , even though she was just a lab rat to the worst act in history. This reflects how many citizens in Hiroshima view the war as an inevitable part of history and try to carry out their remainder of their lives as best as they can. b Dr.Terufumi Sasaki is a Red Cross Hospital surgeon , who was only twenty-five when the bomb was dropped. He is portrayed as a selfless ,ambitious , idealistic and hardworking person . It is mentioned that he would risk receiveing penalties by treating injured people in the suburbs without a permit. He is the only physician at his hospital who remained unharmed from the explosion , he treats thousands upon thousands of hurt and dying people on Hiroshima. Dr. Sasaki contributed to the treatment and analysis of radiation sickness for years , along with devoting his time in search of effective removal of keloids. Dr. Sasaki’s research later resulted in more harm than good. Later Sasaki leaves to set up his own private clinic , in order to escape his traumatic and gruesome memories , to begin fresh. Emotionally , Sasaki is kept more at a distance , which heavily emphasizes how he seeks no recognition or praise for all the excruciating work he does.Yet , Hersey counters this at a point where Sasaki expresses how the people responsible for the explosion should be hanged, but still is deeply impacted by his experiences. We can infer that to diferentiate from the other citizens who tried to return to their life Sasaki’s drastic action of leaving reflects a

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deep level of suffering and how he was tormented , thus having the need to forget what he experienced . c Father Wilhelm Kleinsorage is a German Jusuit Priest who comforts many of the dying and wounded in the explosion through the years. Though not seriously injured from the explosion he also is diagnosed with radiation sickness , which results in him being weak and tired and often needing lenghthy stays in the hospital. His character has two main purposes , first he can give a non-japanese view on some significant events , second it shows how the bomb was a kind of equalizer who brought everyone together under a cloud of suffering and despair.He does not change much through out the book just changes his name to Father Makoto Takatura, reflecting on the Japanese people on a positive way and can also be infered of being a symbol of strenght within a community and dedication that resulted from the bombing. d Toshiko Sasaki was a 20 year old clerk who worked to take care of siblings and family, she is injured and receives no medical care for her leg injury for weeks thus she remains crippled all of her life. Her fiance abandons her as a result and she is encouraged to convert to Christianity which results in her having opportunities and regain optimism concerning her future. She is completely immobilized thus suffering greatly from isolation. e Dr. Masakazu Fujji serves as a big contrast to all the other characters , when the bomb explodes his private clinic becomes toppled into the water, later he rebuilds it and remains successful with connections to American Members.His few injuries from the explosion heal and he continues his career comfortably . Yet his death is the most drastic , he dies after being in a coma for eleven years and his wife and son fight over his inheritance after his death , which ultimately leads to a lawsuit. f Reverend Mr. Kiyoshi Tanimoto is a kind and thoughtful pastor who works without end to aid nameless dying and wounded to safety , since he was not injured he feels ashamed to be healthy while there is death and decay around him so he puts all his energy towards helping the wounded. He is later affected by radiation sickness and loses some of his vitality . After the war he travels to America to raise money for the same cause and peace in japan, which backfires and results in him as being viewed as a publicity seeker by both countries. Ironically , the time he spent in America trying to reach his goal , the movement goes on in Japan meanwhile and he plays no role in it. Out of all the characters the most difficult to understand is Mr.Tanimoto because he seems to represent humility of Japanese culture , yet he has the strongest ties to America which results in him trying to go the extra mile to prove his loyalty . He receives government suspicion from both Japan and America or his actions . Yet hersey focuses on him more than any other character , he even ends the narrative with aging Mr. Tanimoto which shows significance . Two places on the book are Dr. Fuji’s private clinic which is described as modern and expensive and Mr. Tanimoto’s travels to the U.S and how they amazed him.

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All of these event are happening simultaneously , only the location and charachter constantly switch . a The Bomb is dropped on Hiroshima. b Thousands of people are killed , thousands more injured. c Both the Reverend Tanimoto and Kliensorge help out victims d Ms. Nakamura and her children are in the victims. Ms. Sasaki’s leg is fractured and receives no treatment e Dr. Fuji’s private clinic plummets under water , thus only helps himself . f Dr. Sasaki only uninjured Red Cross surgeon helps injured and dying . g Weeks after people left dealing with radiation sickness h Mr. Tanimoto goes to U.S to try to speak against nuclear proliferation i Ms. Nakamura lives comfortable with government pension j Ms.Sasaki becomes a nun. Lives comfortably k US and Japan suspect Mr. Tanimoto l Father Kliensorge and Dr. Fuji die from ilness m Mr. Tanimoto aging comfortably. 7 The tone of Hiroshima from an excerpt from Chapter four is Ms. Nakamura saying “It can’t be helped” during this the tone is of utter submition and acceptance of the unavoidable. 8 I believe chapter one is the best one because ot is very discriptive along , with exposing the setting and how Hersey laid it out so gently it made the attitude seem cold . Personally, it make me open my eyes and relize to give life my all because it can change in a flash , a noiseless flash. 9 Hiroshima is a narrative on which the lives of two poor women, two priest from diffrent faiths, and two doctors who react totally different react to atomic bomb. Along with how it changed their lives for good or for bad. Even the deaths of some of them and how it scarred the both mentally and physically. It also give a view of how the events changed their life completely. Along with how even today they face these consequences every day of their life . 10 I would totally recommend this book , it was very descriptive and it make you reflect on your own lie. I loved how it had different characters so you could see other points of view of totally different people even in the same gender , profession and situation. The downside of this book was that you don’t have a strong stomach you probably should be looking for another book because it is very descriptive and gory. Along with the fact that the chapters are more like sections so t is a little more challenging that your average book. All in all it is a very captivating nonfiction book and I am glad I choose it .

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