948 words | 4 page(s)

Section One:  According to the book, why was Hiroshima such an ideal target for American bombing?

According to John Hersey, Hiroshima was the ideal target for the attack since, giving the calculations made by scientists and members of the Army Air Forces, to cause greater damage to the target, the place had to be made up of buildings that were prone to collapse and be damaged by fire and by the explosion itself. Hiroshima had not been bombed thoroughly like most of other big Japanese cities and its position marked it as a symbolic target.

puzzles puzzles
Your 20% discount here.

Use your promo and get a custom paper on

Order Now
Promocode: custom20

On the other hand, the area they had to bomb must have been populated so that, given that the explosion of the bomb expanded by 1 mile in radius, there were sufficient losses. Meaning “the selected targets should contain a densely built-up area of at least this size” (Hersey, P.65). Similarly, among other reasons, there was the strategic military value of the target and the fact that it had not previously been bombed. Such reason was in order to calculate the magnitude of the damage done by the atomic bomb.

Section Two:
Discuss the experiences of one of the central characters in this book. 
As a Methodist pastor, Mr. Tanimoto is a man who worked hard and kindly after the atomic bomb explosion. It is, of all the characters, who manages to take many wounded and even lifeless bodies to safer places. This, perhaps, due in part to an incredible sense of guilt that accompanies him as one of the few people who finds himself “intact.” Unlike most of the wounded around him, Tanimoto did not suffer serious injuries:

“As a Christian, he was filled with compassion for those who were trapped, and as a Japanese he was overwhelmed by the shame of being unhurt…” (Hersey, P.16)
Through the account of his experience, Mr. Tanimoto gives a glimpse of the cultural conflicts between the United States and Japan, since, having studied theology in America, he usually feared the mistrust of his friends. After all, at some point, he was questioned by the police. Thus, with his dedication to saving lives in the days after the bombing, he embodies the humility and group consciousness that is a trait of Japanese culture.

However, it is also the character through which the reader knows more about the symptoms and effects of radiation sickness: “Mr. Tanimoto fell suddenly ill with a general malaise, weariness, and feverishness…they were coming down with the…disease which came later to be known as radiation sickness.” (Hersey, P.36)

b.  Explain what you think the author’s purpose was in telling so many individual anecdotes about life before the bomb.
Even though, with Hiroshima, Hersey presents numbers, descriptions, statistics and everything necessary to evaluate and analyze an event of such magnitude, it is in fact, the stories of personages like Dr. Terufumi Sasaki, Toshiko Sasaki, Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, among others, that are what makes the reader identify more intimately with the tragic of the event. He tells a story using literary and journalistic resources, in this way, he seeks to give a more personal look to the catastrophe that until then, focused more on numbers than on horror.

His stories portrayed a culture, mostly thought as distant and misinterpreted, of people who later become a closer and more emotionally understood individuals.

Likewise, the experience of an atomic bomb seems more real to the reader when the data and numbers that are already known of its effects are told by individuals who lived it and experienced it:

Section Three:  List and describe some of the side effects from radiation sickness. 
Among the most obvious symptoms of those who were affected by the radiation of the explosion and came down with the radiation sickness are:
– Epilation: Disappearance of the hair, in some completely and others only in the crown of the head.
– Petechiae: It means that the patient suffers from bleeding in the skin.
– Vomiting and nausea: Common about three or four hours after the person has been in contact with the radiation.
– Lesions in mouth and throat: It was observed in those affected by radiation, inflammation of the gums and lesions of the oral mucous membrane and throat. Most mouth and throat lesions could present bleeding and ulcers.
– Diarrhea: In the most severe cases can be mix with blood. At a lower degree of severity, it can be persistent for a considerable amount of time.

Section Four: Explain why the medical and rescue efforts had so little impact on the survivors’ behalf, immediately following the blast.
Because the major wounds caused by the blast were severe burns to the skin, the bodies of the injured were vulnerable because of their contact with the radiation. Burns were so profound that little could be done for the ones who got medical help since after some hours their bodies did not resist as they were jaded beyond any possible help.

On the other hand, it should be taken into account that the radiation produced by the bomb affected more critically and quickly those who had suffered burns to the skin, whether they were caused by the explosion itself, or the infrastructures that were also on fire. In the end, Hiroshima resulted in a heinous situation for the Japanese people; their losses were big in both a spiritual and a physical sense, changing their soul forever.

  • Atomcentral. The Cold War. 2010. january 2017. .
  • Hersey, John. Hiroshima. EFL Club (www.eflclub.com), n.d.
  • Leffler, Edited by Melvyn P. y David S. Painter. Origins of the Cold War. New York : Routledge. Taylor & Francis Group, 2005.
  • Museum, The Cold War. (NATO), The North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 2008. January de 2017. .

puzzles puzzles
Attract Only the Top Grades

Have a team of vetted experts take you to the top, with professionally written papers in every area of study.

Order Now