Hiroshima by John Hersey

September 30, 2011
One of the most gripping World War II novels available to the public is John Hersey’s Hiroshima. This portrayal of an actual Japanese tragedy graphically described not only the survival, but the devastating aftermath of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Although the main characters survive the blast and their arduous road to survival and amazing efforts to help others display true audacity.

The diverse backgrounds of the characters illustrate that having faith in others, regardless of his/her career or beliefs, always proves beneficial. The care shown by all in this novel proves that the entire community has a sense of humanity when they depend on each other to survive a tragedy. One of the protagonists, Mr. Tanimoto serves as a Methodist priest who helps evacuate more people than all others on the island. The religion of those being saved does not matter as long as they survive the bomb dropped by the United States, as proven by “It doesn’t matter what happened to your house or family… everyone will be safe.” (64).

The unexpected death of various citizens toward the completion of the book displayed how unanticipated the outcome of this type of bomb because the knowledge had not yet reached the eastern hemisphere. In finding out the truly tragic deaths of such characters, one must read the novel himself/herself. A novel of these standards should be read by all interested in the history of WWII along with all those with a family history connected to such tragedy.





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