AP English Lang 4
November 1st, 2014
Hiroshima W.A.R. Hiroshima recounts the life of six out of the 200,000 people killed and badly wounded on August 6th, 2014 during the dropping of first atomic bomb on a populated city. The city of Hiroshima, decimated by the bomb, suffered from thousands of casualties while leaving the wounded baffled on what had happened since there had not been many American planes flying over the city on the day of the experiment. Hersey, in his book, explains the struggles faced by the six individuals after the detonation and describes the effects the bomb had physically and psychologically on humanity itself. The passages demonstrate the effects during and after the bomb killed most of the inhabitants of Hiroshima while also expressing the sense of hopelessness in the doctors trying to helping the burned and wounded. The first passage provides Mr. Tanimoto’s accounts on what he observed while on the search for his family, he saw the bombs power to violently burn and kill, leaving many of the residents traumatized. The second passage shows the how helpless everyone is, the army doctor’s duty is to help as many people as possible to live but the ones heavily wounded will die nonetheless so he does not try to help. This shows the despairing Situation that the trained medics face days after the bomb has been dropped. Finally the last passages shows the Japanese 4 years after Hiroshima, Mr. Tanimoto was pushing for world peace and education so no one experiences a loss like the one of the Japanese in 1945. The Japanese are not planning for revenge, but to prevent another disaster from happening in another country.
Rhetorical Analysis John Hersey, in his book, ”Hiroshima” recounts the unforgettable events that six survivors experiences during the first atomic bomb dropped on a major city. Hersey’s purpose it to show the reader the psychological effect that something like the detonation of a bomb can have on a human being but also the difficulties they faced while trying to help others in need that were wounded by the fires of the bomb in order to appeal to the sympathetic sentiments of the readers and help understand what happened seconds after the bomb left the plane on that day. Hersey begins by emphasizing what Mr. Tanimoto saw while he was searching for his family. He appeals to the mournful emotions of the audience by creating a powerful image of the people’s reaction to the bomb, everyone fleeing and all of which “seemed to be hurt in some way.” Some of the inhabitants had “skin hung from their faces and hands” and showed “no expression” while trying to get away from the burning city. He gives this detailed observation in order to help the audience understand that the people had lost so much in such an instant, that they had no way to express themselves, to mourn or to save themselves from death. The bomb was so potent, that it caused both physical and emotional damage to everyone in the radius of the explosion. This helps the reader visualize what happened when the bomb was dropped and create a sense of sympathy for the innocent that died for the end of the war. Hersey shifts to describing the desperate chaotic scene in which the doctors work in with countless hours without resting. He appeals to the emotions of the audience by creating a sense of helplessness in this situation where many are “heavily wounded on the riverbank”. The doctor however doesn’t “look up” and his only task is helping “as many people as possible” even if it means to let some wounded to die. He uses this dialogue to show that the doctor is ashamed that he cannot do much help about the heavily wounded when he doesn’t look up when he is spoken to and has been up since the blast. The doctor feels like he is failing to do his job but he’s doing the best he can in the situation and work conditions. This gives the reader an…