Hiroshima By John Hersey

Choose one of the following prompts. Write a detailed, focused , engaged critical/analytical essay. Be very specific. Support your assertions textually.

Narrow your focus to small sections or a chapter. Describe, explain, detail and connect your ideas for your reader. Show your reader these ideas in action through textual example.    Hersey stated that he had decided “to write about what happened not to buildings but to human beings”. Hiroshima is a kind of seminal book in what is now often referred to as long form narrative non-fiction. What are the elements that have been borrowed from fiction? What is the impact on the reader with this vs. a more traditional non-fiction approach? How  does Hersey arrange his chapters to create the narrative drive. Choose one chapter. Think about how that particular chapter functions in the book as a whole. How does it build on what came before it?

how does it anticipate what comes after? Does it build connections between characters? Does it contribute to the reader’s understanding of characters? What is revealed? What is withheld?  Anatomy of a scene. Choose a place/scene/situation in the book that particularly strikes you. Deconstruct it. How does Hersey create it? Look at language and syntax, imagery,metaphor, simile, arrangement, punctuation. What makes this piece work? With journalism, Hersey once said, the reader is always conscious of “the person who’s writing it and explaining to you what’s taken place.” He said he wanted to have “the reader directly confronted by the characters,” so he tried to write the piece in such a way that, as he put it, “my mediation would, ideally, disappear.” Do you find this to be true? If so, how does he accomplish this disappearing act? Where do you see the writer? In other words,where do you see the invisible hand that controls the narrative?

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