A Lesson In Ethics: The Decision To Drop The A-Bo

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John Hersey wrote the book Hiroshima after the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Japan in 1945. His book surveys the effects of this action by the United States. Hersey’s use of rhetoric in Hiroshima and it’s ability to evoke appropriate reactions to this event was an effective design to his writing. John Hersey’s purpose in writing Hiroshima was to force the reader to weigh the ethical justification in dropping the A-Bomb on Hiroshima, rather than rely on their original, close-minded perceptions. Hersey uses many writing strategies, and targets a specific audience in order to evoke in the American people feelings of remorse, sympathy, and anger, and a personal connection with the victims of the atomic bombing. The last sentence of the first chapter reads, “There, in the tin factory, in the first moment of the atomic age, a human being was crushed by books”(Hersey 23). This statement ties a writing strategy to his intended purpose. Hersey uses irony here to show that these unpretentious and crude items caused the injury of this woman, albeit as a direct result of the refined and technologically advanced A-bomb. Whether Hersey may or may not have had any predilection toward the Christian or Catholic faith, his inclusion of religious aspects of Japanese life may have been a tool used to more closely relate these foreigners to the American people. After giving an opening prayer for a Senate session, Senator A. Willis Robertson sees that, even though this man (Tanimoto) was a victim of a terrible act carried out by the United States military, he still says, “God bless all members of this Senate”(181). The Senator was described as being, “dumbfounded yet inspired”(181). Hersey includes this information about Tanimoto’s prayer, not only to show that these people are similar in their beliefs, but also to appeal to the United States government to reevaluate their

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