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Discussing Hiroshima.

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Introduction

Shawna Danielson Modern World Civilizations II April 14th, 2008 Hiroshima by John Hersey provides the reader with a front row seat to the devastation that atomic power can cause. This book tells the story of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan on that fateful day in August, 1945, through the eyes of various survivors. Through the eyes of those survivors, we are able to see a glimpse of the horror that occurred on August 6th, 1945. We are able to see how devastating atomic power can be, not only structurally and physically, but also the long term repercussions as well. The force of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945 was absolutely devastating. The pressure from the explosion "varied from 5.3 to 8.0 tons per square yard", and "had more power than 20,000 tons of TNT." The bombs blast was forceful enough to move gravestones, knock over railroad cars, and move concrete bridges. The heat of the bomb at its center "must have been 6,000� Celsius." The bomb caused concrete to become discolored to a "light, reddish tint, had scaled off the surface of granite. . . ...read more.

Middle

For the most part, only saline and iodine were used to treat injuries, as there was a severe shortage of medical supplies. There were thousands of injured persons that had no one to help them. Although people were dying by the hundreds, there was nobody to carry away the corpses. The scene of hospitals was that of the living laying among the dead, and in their state of shock it was difficult to tell them apart. Doctors were overwhelmed with the "thousands of patients sprawled out among [the] corpses." Although there were many that were "gruesomely wounded", there were also many that died while having no apparent injuries. The remains of the deceased were eventually cremated, the placed in envelopes with their name upon it. Time was taken to do this because "disposal of the dead, by decent cremation and enshrinement, is a greater moral responsibility to the Japanese than adequate care of the living." The few who were not seriously injured felt a sense of guilt for their lack of injuries. Many people only helped their own family, unable to "comprehend or tolerate a wider circle of misery." Hysteria and shock began to set in, many became numb to their surroundings. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, many hibakusha's initially rejected it as they had "a suspicion of ulterior motives." Employers developed a prejudice against the hibakusha due to their "A-Bomb sickness; a nagging weakness and weariness, dizziness now and then, digestive troubles, all aggravated by a feeling of oppression, a sense of doom. . ." Surprisingly, there was a divided opinion about the use of the bomb on Hiroshima. Father Siemes stated that, "Some of us consider the bomb in the same category as poison gas and were against its use on a civilian population. Others were in the opinion that in total war. . . there was no difference between civilians and soldiers. . ." Hiroshima was engulfed by devastation from the instant the atomic bomb went off, and for many years to follow. Over 100,000 lost their lives, and the survivors, or hibakusha, lost the lives they once knew. As we move forward with new technology, we must look to the ahead to see the future outcomes new technologies could hold. Hopefully, as we look to the future, we remember that atomic power can be devastating. It is amazing that something so small could nearly level an entire city, cost thousands their lives, and still has reverberating effects long after the dust has settled. ...read more.

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