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In the book, Hiroshima by John Hersey, the characters are used to show the immediate and the aftermath results of using the atomic bomb. Hersey was a journalist who wanted to put a face on the people who suffered through the bomb. His first chapter, in fact, describes the terrible condition of the people and the area surrounding ground zero. I think that Hersey was trying to get the American people to look at the consequences of using an atomic bomb and whether or not it was the correct decision. Instead, the book's characters illustrated the human nature of the people despite or because of their injuries or relationships. Hersey focuses on six people, two doctors, one widow, one personnel clerk, a German priest, and a Methodist minister. The characters illustrate human failings when they are selfish such as Doctor Fujii who focuses on possessions, and show the human capacity for love and heroism when they work to help the injured such as Dr. Sasaki who works to exhaustion in the days after the bombing. The book helped people understand what happened at Hiroshima when the bomb was dropped.
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