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Japan Book Club: Hiroshima – part 1

January 7, 2012

At 8:15 am on August 6th, 1945, an American bomber, The Enola Gay, dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on a city in Southern Japan.  In that city, Hiroshima, on the day of the bombing and in the days and weeks that followed, over 100,000 people died.

A few years later, John Hersey, a journalist/novelist, decided to tell the story of six people that did survive the blast.  In Hiroshima, Hersey follows six individuals, telling you what they saw and felt in Hiroshima that day and the days that followed.

This week we’re going to read chapter 1 – A Noiseless Flash.   The story starts with all six people going about their days the moments before the bomb explodes.  You see a young doctor arriving at his hospital, an older doctor sitting on his porch, a priest starting his day, a soldier’s widow getting her children ready, a reverend helping a friend, and a young woman arriving at work.    All of them starting what looked to be a typical day, but it would soon be a day that changed their worlds forever.

While you read, pay careful attention to  characters.  The questions we want you to answer this week is “why does the author begin the story the way he does?  Why does he follow six Japanese people around for the hours before the bombing?  Why doesn’t he begin with the pilot flying the plane, or the men who created the bomb, or the president making the decision to use such a devastating weapon?  Why doesn’t he start when the bomb goes off or the day after?”  

Here's a map of Hiroshima to help you keep the locations straight in your head while you read.

Every student in our Japan group is required to participate.  You must comment on this post with your thoughts, then come back and comment on what other people have said – you are required to make an effort to keep the conversation going by replying to at least 2 other students (more than just “I agree” or “you are right.” Give them reasons why you agree/disagree or what they said that was meaningful – make this a discussion). 

Next, we’ll be reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr – you should begin looking for your own copy at a local library or book store soon.  Amazon.com has some cheap used copies available too.  We will start reading that book in mid February.    
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84 Comments leave one →
  1. Kevin Wilson permalink
    January 7, 2012 9:22 pm

    I think that there are many reasons that the author started the book the way he started it. one of the reasons i think the author started the book this way was to show what the Japanese people living in Hiroshima were doing before the bombing took place. Also i believe the author was trying to show us how the day to day lives of the people living in Hiroshima was at the current time.
    In the book it tells that several of the survivors were having trouble sleeping at the time. so i think the author was trying to show us how the Japanese people were feeling before the bomb was dropped.

    • Sydney Bebar permalink
      January 8, 2012 11:49 am

      I agree, the author was trying to have us realize it started as a normal day, no different than any other.

      • Alyssa Gue permalink
        January 30, 2012 7:01 pm

        Yeah, and how quickly that can all change.

    • Austin Stein permalink
      January 8, 2012 3:24 pm

      It’s almost heartbreaking to thing this is an everyday thing; not the bombing but the loss of peace at heart you once knew be gone in one scaring moment that could change everything. Mostly it occurs with friends or couples no longer being friends or lovers, but this would probably at the top of the scale as how traumatising the loss of peace can be.

    • Blair Tuider permalink
      January 8, 2012 4:08 pm

      I like how you said that that all the surviors were having trouble sleeping the night efore. It gives me the feeling like they were uneasy about something, but ignored it.

    • Bobby cortesi permalink
      January 8, 2012 7:31 pm

      you definitely right kevin there are many reasons why this author probably started out the book with the introducing of the characters to show there daily lives before the bombing took place

    • Zach Ciko permalink
      January 8, 2012 8:00 pm

      I agree that day was like any other day except we ( the U.S.) decided to bomb them.

  2. January 7, 2012 11:07 pm

    1. Because he’s trying to make it more appealing and trying to tell what happened then tell what happened before that incident.
    2. Because he wondered why they are the only survivors from the explosion
    3. Because he’s telling the reader happened when the bomb hit then telling him/her what happened before the even to make it more interesting.
    4. Because if you start with what happened after the bomb went off then it makes the reader more interested and want to read what happened before the bomb exploded.

    • Sydney Bebar permalink
      January 8, 2012 11:50 am

      I agree, if you give a story before the event, you become closer to the character, and you feel the way they do.

      • Meghan permalink
        January 16, 2012 6:18 pm

        They were just living there day as usual and didn’t know something this terrible could happen to them. You feel and think about if that was you, and your friends, and your family in a situation like that. Then you feel just a glimpse of what they went through.

    • Kevin Wilson permalink
      January 8, 2012 12:17 pm

      I agree with you if the author started the book after the bomb hit the reader would wonder what happened the the bomb was dropped. Also the reader will wonder how these six people survived.

    • Blair Tuider permalink
      January 8, 2012 4:06 pm

      I agree with you on number four you are more intersested once you know what was happening before the bombng. You get to know a little bit about the characters, what their like what they do for a living, their family,etc.

    • January 8, 2012 6:44 pm

      I disagree on number two. In my oppinion, the author wasn’t following the six people around before the bomb went off because he was wondering why they survived. He personally knows, and they are not the only survivors.There were others too.The author was following them around to give a background on them, and to make the reader feel like they are just everyday people, the same as you and me. I think he did this to form a connetion for the reader.

    • Zach Ciko permalink
      January 8, 2012 8:03 pm

      I agree with number 1 because when you know the characters life it is more interresting when you see that life change.

    • cj moody permalink
      January 13, 2012 7:15 pm

      i agree with 1 if he jumped straight to the bombing it wouldnt really make sense

    • Tyler Pearson permalink
      February 19, 2012 2:44 pm

      Joy, I think on #2 that you could’ve put a little more detail about how they survived during the blast.

  3. Sydney Bebar permalink
    January 8, 2012 11:48 am

    1. I think the story begins this way because it gives you a slight backstory, and it really shows that it was a normal day. This is supposed to be from these perspectives, so starting the story how they started the day makes sense.
    2. The author shows before the bombing to show that nobody was expecting that, and that it was a normal day for everyone. This day was nothing special to start off with.
    3. He doesn’t start with Americans as the focl point because this is the Japanese perspective. You are supposed to realize how they felt about it, not how the Americans came upon the decision.
    4. He doesnt start with the bomb because it would jump too much in the story, you wouldnt know that this was a surprise attack. The author wants you to feel the way the japanese did on that day.

    • Nate Zurawski permalink
      January 8, 2012 12:52 pm

      I completely agree with your answer for number 3, this book is shown in the Japanese eyes when usually it might not be shown in anyone’s eyes in a non-fiction book.

    • Kevin Wilson permalink
      January 8, 2012 3:38 pm

      same thing Nate said i agree with your number 3 this book is shown from the Japanese perspective. also i agree with your number 1 sort of like what i said when i answered the questions was that it was just a normal day for them in this time.

    • Blair Tuider permalink
      January 8, 2012 4:04 pm

      I agree with you on number three 100%. Thsi didn’t not hurt the Americans physically, our part of our country wasn’t destroyed the Japenese’s was. They were the ones that were hurt, physically and emotionally.

    • January 8, 2012 6:47 pm

      I agree with you. The Hershey wants to put you in the shoes of a Japanese person and as you said “feel the way the Japanese did on that day”. I think he does this to form a connection for the reader.

      • Meghan permalink
        January 16, 2012 6:16 pm

        You wouldn’t get the same feeling if it was an American’s perspective telling about this event.

    • Shane Chetney permalink
      January 22, 2012 3:28 pm

      I agree with number 3. The aurthor wanted you to see the story from the Japaneese perspective

    • February 20, 2012 2:48 pm

      I agree with you on #4. If this book was jumping around, not only would I get confused, but you woulndn’t feel quite the same when you read about the people’s day and the bomb.

  4. Nate Zurawski permalink
    January 8, 2012 12:51 pm

    I think that the author started the book off this way is because that the people that he described are the main characters so he wants to show what they do and how they lived their lives before the bomb. These people were the survivors of that tragic day for the Japanese people so the author has to follow them to get the whole story, if he followed people who died he wouldn’t understand the entire story and he couldn’t have talked to them because they would be dead. If the story started off with the bomb going off, or the pilots flying the plane, or the president saying,” yes let’s send the bomb to HIroshima.” because the way it does start out makes the book more interesting by putting us in the eyes of the people like Mr. Tanimoto. I personally lobe the way this book starts out.

    • Austin Stein permalink
      January 8, 2012 3:27 pm

      Agreed. Sympathy is a true grabber that would be terrible if lost, and that really grabs the reader. Good work Mr. Hersey. 🙂

    • Bobby cortesi permalink
      January 8, 2012 7:33 pm

      i liked how you said one of the reasons why the author started off with the people is because they’re the main characters and most of the time you need to know the facts and personality about them

  5. Austin Stein permalink
    January 8, 2012 3:18 pm

    I find that John Hersey, by staring each person’s tale off hours before the bombing, was trying to get readers to think even these people who had their lives forever changed by the bombing were once just normal people doing the things we do regularly. It’s a basic statement with what happens: there once was peace and serenity (the hours before) that at any moment can be a changed in a blinding flash (the bomb exploding) turn into war, destruction, and despair (mostly occurs with Miss Sasaki and how her leg twists so badly it broke, slipped under her, and she then was pilled onto by multiple books).

    • Mark Burjek permalink
      January 11, 2012 9:55 pm

      I do agree when you say peace and serenity can go to destruction and despair in the blink of an eye. I really like the tension it builds in the book.

    • Persephone Allee permalink
      February 8, 2012 8:55 pm

      I agree with you that the story beginning before the bomb acted on people’s emotions. Just thinking about this, how normal all these people were, really opens my eyes. It justs make me ask this question, what if it was me?

  6. Blair Tuider permalink
    January 8, 2012 3:59 pm

    1- the author begins the story the way he does because it gives a backround to the story. It shows what the six people were doing before the bomb hit, they were all just having a normal day.The author described how the six people lived, what their family was like.
    2- The author follows the six people around hours before the bombing because there was raids and everyone woke up. Either from that or because they weer busy and had to do something. It shows you that they were just doing normal every day things, they people were either relaxing, working, or busy with something else. Everyone that he described didn’t think anything bad was going to happen, no one was worried about anything.
    3- The author doesn’t begin with the piolet, or the men who created the bomb, or the president because they were not the Japenese people, the were not hurt by this terrible disaster. Only the people that lived in Japan were the ones who suffered, not the Americans.
    4-He didn’t start with the bomb going off, or the day after because you dion’t really get the sense of what happened how the people reacted. Also, there would be just too much going on to know what the characters saw, what they were doing early, were they hurt right when the bomb hit. You have to know whats going on in this story before the tragedy. Again it was just a normal day, you wouldn’t really know that if he started off with the day after the bombing or right when the bomb went off.

    • Jessica Sherwin permalink
      January 12, 2012 10:16 pm

      I agree with number 4, the point of this book was to the show how people lived in Hiroshima before and after, and showing their reactions would help show a different feeling to the bombing, since there were just only a few survivors.

    • Shane Chetney permalink
      January 22, 2012 3:33 pm

      I personaly believe the arthor should have started the story with the disaster but not tell you whats going on and leave it a mystery. Then go back and explain what happened before the disaster and then come back to the disaster later and describe what it is. This way when the arthor goes back to what happened before it leaves the reader curious and guessing so they read on into the book.

  7. January 8, 2012 6:37 pm

    The author begins the book by following six Japanese people around. He does this to show the reader what it was like to be an everyday person in Hiroshima. The book is about the destruction brought by the bomb on the city of Hiroshima. Hershey gives us a glimpse into a Hiroshiman’s life to try and show that they were no different from the rest of us, yet their city met a harsh fate. The author doesn’t begin with the person flying the plane because, this didn’t affect Paul Tibits in the way that it did to the city. The bomb was dropped by the pilot, but it affected the city in a way that would make the city infamous. The best way to measure the effects of something is to look directly at the people that it affects, and see what happen. This works with all realms of life. For Apple to make its iphone better it must look at how it affects the people that it is aimed at. Will they buy it? Will they throw it at the ground? For the reader to understand what it was like in Hiroshima, they must follow a person that was actually in the disaster. Hershey tries to convey the effects of the bomb on everyday people like you and me. This makes the reader feel a connection of what it was like to be in Hiroshima before, during and later in the book after, the bomb exploded.
    The author starts the book off right before the blast so that the readers get a sense of what was happening that day, and what they were doing before the blast. We need to have a background knowledge on our characters albeit a short one. Hershey treated the first chapter as an exposition. He introduced the characters and told what they were doing before the blast, and then told us what happened exactly as the bomb hit their part of the city.

    • Mark Burjek permalink
      January 11, 2012 9:53 pm

      Lots going on here Conrad, good work. The iPhone example really helped me understand where you were coming from. I also agree with the first chapter kind of being exposition. It really does make a story more interesting when you know who you’re dealing with and what you can expect.

      • cj moody permalink
        January 13, 2012 7:14 pm

        i agree with mark.. describing who the people are really gives you a feeling for the book

  8. Bobby cortesi permalink
    January 8, 2012 7:29 pm

    I think that John Hershey starts the book off the way he does because it shows how the Japanese people were living an average day like any other day and to explain the live of the Japanese living in Hiroshima before the bomb was dropped to show how it changed. people didnt just wake up and think ” oh you know what i think im going to live differently because an atomic bomb might drop today.” Also the characters are followed around hours before the bomb to give back-round info on the characters and their personalities. Having back-round knowledge on characters and the time before the bomb strike make the story more interesting to me more then if it was started at the pilot driving the plane, the men who made the bomb or the president making the decision because he can incorporate that into his story along with this and it helps give the story more detail.

    • Jacob Kosinski permalink
      January 20, 2012 7:04 pm

      I agree with you Bobby when you say that having backround information made the story more interesting.

  9. Zach Ciko permalink
    January 8, 2012 7:58 pm

    The author started the book the way he did so he could show they were avarage civilains and how they lived every day life. He fllowed them around for hours before the bomb so he could show the readers a preview of their origanl life. He doesn’t start any other way because then people wouldn’t know who the people were or how they lived or prove that a normal person can survive a bomb. Even though it is incredibly unlikely to live. he didn’t start when it happened or after becuase then it wouldn’t show that they were normal.

    • Jessica Sherwin permalink
      January 12, 2012 10:11 pm

      I agree, if John Hersey had writen about what happened after the bombing, you wouldn’t get the idea of the survivors and how they had lived their lives.

      • Elise Vice permalink
        February 28, 2012 7:41 pm

        I agree on the same thing Jessica commented on. If John Hersey hadn’t started the book before the bomb was dropped, you wouldn’t be able to capture the idea of what was happening to these innocent people, and how normal they were. It’s honestly devastating.

  10. Tyler Pearson permalink
    January 9, 2012 6:06 pm

    The auther of the book started this way so he could state how the civilian lives would even begin and start. Simply preveiwing their original lives would give them a glimpse at this pre-bomb Hiroshima. Starting any other way would never be as effective, or even prove they were normal.

    • Persephone Allee permalink
      February 8, 2012 9:01 pm

      I liked the word you used, normal. Normal provides us with a connection with the victims of the A-bombs. The author probably makes it this way to tug on our emotional strings. It saddens me thinking if it were us. I have family that I couldn’t bear to lose and some of these people lost everything. Good word.

  11. Mark Burjek permalink
    January 11, 2012 9:47 pm

    John Hersey started Hiroshima by following around people living in Japan. In this way he shows that they are just like us, and they had normal lives to live before the bomb went off. They were just going about their days like a normal person without expectations of what to come. The author doesn’t start with the bomb info and all that jazz because it wouldn’t let the readers connect as much. If a reader reads a book about a person just like him in which the story is being told through his eyes, then he’s really gonna connect and feel like he’s there in the story. It is great to use this in your writing, and the author did a great job of it. As I was saying, the story starts with ordinary living circumstances, and the people were full of peace. When the atomic bomb strikes, everything changes in the blink of an eye, which builds a lot of tension. Therefore, the author used these techniques to keep the reader interested, and he did a good job of catching my attention.

    • Ben Trouvais permalink
      January 15, 2012 11:49 am

      I liked it how you said that it would make the reader feel like he’s there. Reading a book where it feels like you’re the character is much more emotional than if you were reading without that point of view.

      • Jacob Kosinski permalink
        January 20, 2012 6:59 pm

        I agree with you Ben, having a connection like that makes the story much more emotional.

  12. Jessica Sherwin permalink
    January 12, 2012 10:08 pm

    From different point views, there could be various reasons on why John Hersey wrote from the way he does; from the views of the six survivors from Hiroshima. The reason I think John had wrote the story’s beginning the way he did was to show the personalities potrayed to each survivor and what role they had on that day. Telling the story’s beginning from other people’s point of views wouldn’t be helping the point of the story, which is to tell the feelings and thoughts that the six survivors had the day that the bombing occured and the days after. If he had started the book off any different, you wouldn’t get a feeling of what each person was like and how each lived their daily lives in Hiroshima. When John Hershey wrote this book, he wanted to show people the average lives of different people in Hiroshima, and, to many of us here, we have all been able to understand how the survivors lived.

    • Hannah Schram permalink
      January 22, 2012 10:20 pm

      I agree with you on why the author started the way he did. Hershey wanted to show the readers how these people were going through their daily lifes until a sudden bomb went off. This way, the readers can get a sense of how they felt.

  13. Mr. Doerr permalink
    January 13, 2012 1:21 pm

    Good comments Tap!!! Very interesting to read the perspectives that each of you have. Keep up the good work.

  14. cj moody permalink
    January 13, 2012 7:07 pm

    1. i think he wrote that way to show that the day was ordinary until this happened.
    2. noone knew what was going on, noone knew it was gunna happen
    3. john hersey wrote it by the japanese perspective because the americans werent hurt the japanese were.
    4. he wants to show how sneaky it was.. how fast and easy this happened…

  15. Ben Trouvais permalink
    January 14, 2012 11:18 am

    I think he started the book this way to show everyone what had happened before the bombed was dropped on the town. He wanted to show that the Japanese people were the main focus point of this event. If he would have started the book any other way, then it might be misleading as to who the story really is about. By using survivors instead of the pilot or the makers of the bomb, he gives us insight as to how the people of Hiroshima lived before the bomb. By doing this, he not only gives us a rare point of view of the event, but he also shows that these people were no different from American citizens. By developing these characters before the bomb goes of, the reader almost becomes attached to the characters. When something terrible does happen, the reader almost feels sympathetic, or even guilty.

  16. Persephone Allee permalink
    January 14, 2012 9:09 pm

    The author probably started the book this way to introduce the characters but more importantly, to give the reader something to connect to. They were normal people thinking it was a normal day in their normal lives. They were like us. Most, if not all, of the people killed were like us. We or someone we love could have been sitting down at their desk chatting, relaxing on their porch, or walking down the hall when this happened but not be nearly as lucky. If the author were to have began it in another way, I don’t think the same emotional strings would be pulled. I have found it very hard reading just this first chapter because this is the truth, this is what really happened.

    • Ben Trouvais permalink
      January 15, 2012 11:45 am

      I liked how you compared the citizens to us going about our daily lives. People here in America always say, “Oh, well they deserved it.” However, if something happened here like that, Americans would be freaking out and in total paranoia.

    • Ebony Alvarado permalink
      February 8, 2012 2:03 pm

      i agree with u on where u said they were normal people thinking it was a normal day in their normal lives, it would have been just another day if the bomb wouldn’t have dropped.

  17. Meghan permalink
    January 16, 2012 6:14 pm

    1. I think the author wrote the book this way to show how life was everyday as a Japanese citizen and to show what life was like before the bomb was dropped on the town.
    2. He follows the people around to show what it was like before the bomb was dropped. It was an ordinary day up until the bomb changed everything. No one knew it would happen.
    3. He wrote it through the Japanese perspective because the Japanese lives this and its in their history and past. It isn’t supposed to be how Americans saw this event, it is about the Japanese living this.
    4. He doesn’t start of when the bomb goes off or after because he wants you to see what life was before the disaster. It makes the reader feel for sympathy for the people who lived in the town. They had no idea this was going to happen to them, and it later becomes a reality.

    • January 22, 2012 9:49 pm

      i really liked how you answered the fourth one, talking about how the author wanted us to see what happened to them, but i dont really think he was looking for sympathy, just for people to be informed.

      • Alyssa Gue permalink
        January 30, 2012 7:10 pm

        Yeah, Jackie i agree. Thats always the untold part of the story, and it’s nice to know to have better insight.

    • Hannah Schram permalink
      January 22, 2012 10:17 pm

      I agree with what you said about how the author didnt start off the book with the bombing because when he starts off the way he does, the readers have sympathy for all the survivors that survived the bombing.

  18. Jacob permalink
    January 18, 2012 5:47 pm

    1. To show what the lives of the 6 people where like before the atomic bomb. This also shows you that the Japenese had no idea they were going to get nuked.
    2. The author wanted to tell the story from Japan’s point of view, not ours.
    3. If the author didnt give any backround on the characters, you would not know them very well, and know why they reacted like they did.

    • tyler webber permalink
      January 23, 2012 4:21 pm

      Who do you think reacted the most to the bomb?

  19. Shane Chetney permalink
    January 22, 2012 3:29 pm

    1.I think that there are many reasons that the author started the book the way he started it. One of the reasons i think the author started the book this way was to show how peaceful the Japaneese were living the before the atomic bomb struck.
    2. He followed the six characters so the reader would get a feel and/or connect to their lives.
    3. The aurthur doesn’t begin the book with the Maericans because this book is all about the Japaneese and their point of veiw.
    4.He doesn’t start of when the bomb goes off or after because the aurthor wants the reader to see what life was before the the terrible disaster.

    • January 22, 2012 9:48 pm

      i think that the japanese will always be peaceful, but im sure that the bomb made at lest half of the population scream, if not curse…

  20. January 22, 2012 9:36 pm

    1) so that you get a better feel for the people and the situation they were going through before the bombing.
    2)By focussing our attention on the six characters, we could connect and relate with them more easily.
    3)This book is how the bomb affected Japan, not how the American’s were affected, if it were, it would be about being in the war directly, not how others were focibly brought into it.
    4)We already know about the bomb, and even how bad Hiroshima was destroyed, what we don’t know about are the people that went though it and what they thought and felt during, before, and after the bomb.

    • tyler webber permalink
      January 23, 2012 4:20 pm

      Do you think it would have been harder being American or Japanese during this time?

      • DREW BURJEK permalink
        February 6, 2012 5:28 pm

        Tyler, I think it would have been much harder being Japanese, the bombing changed all of Japan and killed many many people. Plus, it forced them to go to war with America.

  21. Hannah Schram permalink
    January 22, 2012 10:14 pm

    The author starts off the book by telling each one of the survivor’s story before and during the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. He probably started off the book this way to introduce the characters and get the reader hooked on how suddenly the bomb dropped during their everyday life. More importantly, John Hershey probably started off this way to demonstrate each role that every innocent survivor played during the bombing. He followed around these six characters hours before the bombing because none of the Japanese knew that they were going to be bombed. They were doing their daily routines and Hershey wanted to show what each chararcter was doing before the life threatening experience. The author decided not to start the book in a different way because he wanted the readers to get a sense of each survivor’s personailty so that later in the book, the readers could connect better with what Japan went through and see their point of veiw. Also, Hershey didnt start off with the bomb going off because then the story would be too down to the point and wouldnt show how unexpected and sudden the bombing was.

  22. tyler webber permalink
    January 23, 2012 4:20 pm

    1. So you get a better feeling towards the people before the bombing happened.
    2. If we focoused more on those six characters, we would probably connect to and be more like them.
    3. The book is about how the bomb effected Japan. Not about how America reacted but how some people in Japan were forced into it.
    4. Everyone already knows about the bom, but what we dont know are the people who went through it, before and after the bomb.

    • Lyssette Bedolla permalink
      February 28, 2012 7:41 pm

      I agree with number one, but I think that goes for more stories as well. For example you don’t start writing the “Hunger Games” when the games start, you have to get know the people first.

  23. Nailah permalink
    January 25, 2012 6:33 pm

    1. Because the author wants you to know what is going before the bombing, that no one expected it and everyone was doing their normal routine.

    2.So that we could see a different perspective of people and have variety of connections from people.

    3.If the story started off the bat it wouldn’t show the feelings and responses to being bombed before or after. It would be a direct contact to the plot of the story.

    4.It wouldn’t show the feelings or expressions of the people but only the destruction of Hiroshima.

    • Ebony Alvarado permalink
      February 8, 2012 1:58 pm

      i agree with where u said it would be a direct contact of the plot of the story, because if he did start it off with the bombing, then it wouldn’t tell about how the Japanese were before.

  24. Nailah permalink
    January 25, 2012 8:12 pm

    1. The author was giving us a better vision in our minds before the bomb dropped

    2. We could connect with more things if there was a variety of personalities and senarios.

    3. We see how the people there felt and what their response was instead of the straight bombing.

    4. WE wouldn’t get to grasp the whole feeling of what the people felt just how the bomb hit.

    • DREW BURJEK permalink
      February 6, 2012 5:31 pm

      I like and agree with how you say that we could connect with more things if there was a variety of personalities and senarios. This also gives depth into the story, helping you to understand it from different points of veiw.

  25. Drew Burjek permalink
    January 29, 2012 6:02 pm

    1.the author begins his story the way he does because he wanted to inform the reader on the characters lives before the bomb hit.
    2. He followed six people around before the bombing to tell the reader about their normal life before the bomb hit. Nobody knew it would happen, and the author wanted the reader to compare the characters lives from before and after the bombing.
    3. He didn’t start with those settings because this book is about the Japanese point of view on the subject, and he wanted us to see their lives before, during, and after the bombing. And, the pilot or the president or the man who made the bomb don’t have anything to do with the Japanese point of view because they don’t live there and don’t know anyone that lives there so the bombing didn’t really affect them, plus, they aren’t even Japanese.
    4. He didn’t start after or during the bombing because you wouldnt know how the japanese peoples lives changed and what their reactions were.

    • Kamil Czaplinski permalink
      March 27, 2012 12:53 am

      You included a lot of before and after in your response, and I agree with it 100%. The author wanted us to see how everything and everyone changes after a bombing like this.

  26. Alyssa Gue permalink
    January 30, 2012 7:09 pm

    1. The author began the way he did to show how life was before the bombing, it was an average day for them.
    2. He followed the six peoople to show how their lives were before the bombing.
    3. This wasnt supposed to be our reactions, it was how the Japanese saw it, and we saw how they felt and how it may differ from us.
    4. We know the after math of the bombing. But what we dont know is how everything was before the bombing, like Sydney said” it started as a normal day.” But then that quickly changed for them.

    • Elise Vice permalink
      February 28, 2012 7:46 pm

      It’s really strange to think about how normal their day started. Well, not as much strange as horrible and depressing. It would be like us waking up for a normal school day, getting on the bus, and in a flash, everything would be gone.

    • Kamil Czaplinski permalink
      March 27, 2012 12:51 am

      I really like your answer for number 3, because the book really did show us this bombing from another point of view. We saw that we weren’t the only ones who were sad about this whole situation.

  27. Ebony Alvarado permalink
    February 8, 2012 1:56 pm

    the author begins the story the way he does, because he is showing how they lived before the occurrence happened, and what they were doing before it also. he followed the six people because he was showing what they did or were doing before the bombing, and how it didn’t seem obvious to them that the bombing was to occur. he didn’t start with the bombing, because i was about the Japanese, and it wanted to show how they felt before the bombing. because he wanted to show the effects after the bombing occurred after telling about how the Japanese didn’t realize it was going to happen.

    • February 20, 2012 2:42 pm

      Your right. If I was one of them, I wouldn’t of thought that something of this scale would of occurred in my town.

  28. February 20, 2012 2:40 pm

    He starts the story at the begining because he wants to show what life was like before the bomb. This way, we get the gist of what day-to-day life was like. Using six different people shows us a varity of life. You have the people who were worried but ready 24/7 and then there’s the people who try their best, but are still worried. This also shows of rumors fly. I remeber that one of two of they guys were talking about speculation on what America has in store for Japan, snice we haven’t attacked them yet.
    Also it would make no sense to start the story with America because they story is more about Japan’s people and not the bomb. It seems like this book is going to focus more on how the poeple will work together and not about how much they may hate on America.

    • Lyssette Bedolla permalink
      February 28, 2012 7:31 pm

      I think that when the author started writing the story before the bombing, it gave you a deeper connection to the characters. he wanted you to get to know them on a deeper level before anything truly happens.

  29. Lyssette Bedolla permalink
    February 28, 2012 7:26 pm

    1.) I think he begins story this way because the author wants to give you a backround check of the character lives
    2.) The author wanted to tell the story from the Japanese perspective.
    3.) like number two I think the author wants to start it by the Japanese point of veiw. To show how confused and frightened they were.
    4.) I think he doesn’t start it when the bomb goes off so we, as the readerknow Their emotions before the bomb goes off so we can be more connected with the characters.

  30. Elise Vice permalink
    February 28, 2012 8:06 pm

    John Hersey started this book the way he did because it sort of explained better what exactly happened with the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. He then tells each of their stories bit by bit so we can grasp onto what these innocent people had to go through. The reason he chooses to tell the story from the Japanese point of view is so it is not biased towards America, and so we know exactly what happened to the people there, instead of the people who merely saw or planned it. It wouldn’t have the same effect. The feeling of disgust, sorrow, even shock is given from this book. The fact that the author started before the bomb went off makes you realize how innocent these people were, yet how much they went through.

  31. Kamil Czaplinski permalink
    March 27, 2012 12:46 am

    1. I think that the author started this book this way to show that life was normal before the bombing and that everybody lived in peace with their everyday lives.
    2. The author followed the six people, so that we can become more connected with them and have a little background story on their lives. It also let us see that life was perfectly normal before the bombing.
    3. I think the author wanted us to see the bombing from a different and unusual point of view. Everybody always says the pilots and the actual participants of the bombing, but never the people that were innocent for the loss of so many lives.
    4. The author started before the bomb, once again to give us a background on what was going on. It also made us pay closer attention to what was currently going on in the story, instead of making us focus on what happened before.

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