Hiroshima- John Hersey Essay

924 Words Oct 10th, 2013 4 Pages

‘Hiroshima is not merely a documentary, Hersey manages to inject into the narrative both compassion and awareness of the ultimate triumph of humanity.’ Discuss Hiroshima from this perspective.

Hiroshima is an historic depiction of a disaster that shocked the world. Utilizing the experiences of six Japanese atomic bomb survivors Hersey expresses compassion and awareness of the city’s triumph over the disaster. The narrative creates compassion by showing perseverance of common people and their journeys to overcome the tragedy. By using the patriotism of the dying victims Hersey creates empathy and outlines the nation’s indefatigable pride, He depicts Hiroshima’s triumph as a community uniting together to help
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Mrs Nakumara was just one of the six stories Hersey used to convey compassion to the readers of Hiroshima.

Hersey’s presentation of patriotism among dying bomb victims creates a sympathetic bond to the reader for their triumph over the devastation. After the attack on Hiroshima the survivors refused to die in vain in spite of what tragedy had hit their city.
Even in the face of death, the survivors were rejoicing their heritage, dedicating their last breaths of life to their motherland and were determined keep their morale even after the devastation.

One of the girls begun to sing Kimi Ga Yo, the national anthem, and others followed in chorus and died. (p 116).

As a reader it was hard to comprehend the significance of honour these people felt for their country. After the bomb, they were suffering from poverty and tragedy, yet by hearing the emperors’ voice on broadcast they were touched and gratified:

...the Emperor, they cried with full tears in their eyes. ‘What a wonderful blessing it is that Tenno himself call on us and we can hear his own voice in person. We are thoroughly satisfied in such a great sacrifice …Japan started her new way.” (p 85)

Hersey uses the patriotism of the survivors as an example of a triumph of humanity. The survivors were too proud to let the enemy take their last shred of hope their national dignity, opting to die with honour and

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