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Free Study Guide-Hiroshima by John Hersey-Free Online Book Notes Summary
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QUESTIONS

Study Questions

1. What aspects of the book make it clearly a non-fictional account under the genre of investigative reporting?

2. The book is marked by realism and the experiences and feelings of individuals. Discuss.

3. Discuss the significance of the "Aftermath" chapter in relation to the whole text.

4. What realities of modern warfare does Hersey’s account highlight?

5. Wartime Japanese were willing to sacrifice and even die for their Emperor. Discuss and give examples from the book.

6. How did the way plant life was affected by the bomb eerily contrast to the way humans were affected? Describe.


7. How is "Hiroshima" essentially a tale of survival?

8. Why do you think this book has remained popular for over 50 years after it was first written?

ESSAY TOPICS

9. Discuss the fear of attack that the citizens of Hiroshima were feeling before the bomb was dropped. Contrast this to the actual power of the atom bomb and discuss whether those fears were warranted.

10. Choose at least two main characters and describe how their priorities, choices, and reactions after the bomb matched those of their everyday lives prior to the bomb, for better or worse.

11. How were the bomb survivors treated in Japanese society? Contrast this to the post-humus treatment of those who died in the blast.

SELECTED ANSWERS

1. The book is based on interviews of six survivors, with no moral conclusions drawn.

The survivors’ stories are allowed to speak for themselves. The book is not a call to action but an objective reporting of the facts. The author is unemotional even in his telling of a horrific incident. He relates the information in a straight-forward way.

4. Hersey highlights the idea that war involves more than battle plans and armies. In "Hiroshima," thousands of civilians are killed with a single weapon, and an entire city is destroyed. Hersey also brings up the issue of the use of nuclear weapons in war.

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