John Hersey Hiroshima

Essay by Spicylatin August 2008

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At 8:15, Japanese time, August 6, 1945 the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. About a hundred thousand people were killed by the inhumane act of those Americans. John Hersey tells the story of six lucky survivors: Miss Toshinki Sasaki, Dr. Masakazu Fuji, Mrs. Hatsuyo Nakamura, Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, Dr. Terfumi Sasaki, and the Reverend Tanimoto. This book tells about how the lives of these six people changed forever.

John Hersey uses the testimony to describe the horrid experiences that people went through. Not only did the survivors have to endure the terrible symptoms of radiation sickness, but they struggled to make a living, and worst of all, they could hardly find any decent jobs due to the discrimination towards the "hibakusha"; the survivors of the atomic bomb.

An example is the life of Mrs. Nakamura-San. She lost her husband during the Japanese-American War. She was left alone to raise her three kids.

She was doing well until the day the bomb fell. The bomb completely destroyed her house, leaving her ruined economically. In order to survive, she sold what she could find in her house. Some of those things were kimonos that she highly valued. When she had sold everything she had, she took part time jobs as a maid or as a babysitter. She eventually became a seamstress due to the lack of jobs offered to the hibakusha. One day, a friend of hers suggested Mrs. Nakamura to join the company where she was working at. She wrapped Paragens, powdered Para dichlorobenzene. The owner of the company was very gracious with Mrs. Nakamura. She was paid well and the job itself was decent enough that Mrs. Nakamura worked there for fifteen years. She managed to raise her three kids successfully. She gave up work and decided that after...