The Violence of Atomic Bomb: John Hersey’s Hiroshima

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The novel Hiroshima, by John Hersey, is about six survivors of the first atomic bomb ever dropped on the city, Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945. The six survivors are Miss Sasaki, Dr. Fuji, Mrs. Nakamura, Father Kleinsorge, Dr. Sasaki, and Mr. Tanimoto. One character that stood out was Mrs. Nakamura. She escaped horrific disaster and strives to protect her three children during the destruction of Hiroshima. Through illness and radiation poisoning, Mrs. Nakamura faced difficulties trying to find work years after the explosion. I think Mrs. Nakamura possesses multiple personality traits. Those being positivity, caring, and courage.

Mrs. Nakamura possesses the trait positivity throughout the story because she still tried to find work after a life-changing disaster. She suffers from radiation and poverty for many years. Mrs. Nakamura was weak and destitute and began a courageous struggle, which would last for many years, to keep her children and herself alive (91). This passage shows that Mrs. Nakamura attempts to recover herself and her family from the atomic bomb. She suffers from mild radiation sickness, which makes it very hard for her to support her children. Yet, Mrs. Nakamura still manages to find a good job and become financially well off. She had her late husband’s sewing machine repaired and started to take up sewing again. She also did cleaning and laundry and washed dishes for neighbors who were somewhat better off than she was (91). Mrs. Nakamura endeavors to recuperate her life by making money to provide food for her three children. Her attitude towards the bomb was, So it can’t be helped, as said by her herself. Regardless of the result of the bomb, Mrs. Nakamura desires to improve her life, gradually. Mrs. Nakamura, made an arrangement to deliver bread for a baker named Takahashi, whose bakery was in Nobori-cho. On days when she had strength to do it, she would take orders fo bread from retail shops in her neighborhood and the next morning she would pick up the next requisite number of loaves and carry them in baskets and boxes through the streets to the stores (94). Mrs. Nakamura put a lot of hard work to find a job to make money. Although, the exhausting work provided just fifty cents a day. Mrs. Nakamura had still persevered and years later, it was Nakamura-san’s good luck, her fate (which must be accepted), to become eligible to move into a better house (94). THe house rent was about a dollar a month, and was also payable to the city government.

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