Kelly Sugalski's Reviews > Hiroshima

Hiroshima by John Hersey
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Apr 24, 2011

Read from April 24 to May 17, 2011

3. How has this text, if at all, contributed to your personal enlightenment? Do you feel you have gained a greater understanding of our culture or the culture of another through this?

After reading through two-thirds of this book, it made me realize that most people take the things that they have for granted. For instance, the people in Japan were very appreciative of just simple water that was given to them after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Most people in America don't think twice when they drink water, because they expect it to always be available. I feel like reading this book has made me more grateful for what I have. I like how most of the Japanese people were not materialistic at all, and instead focused on helping others and acting honorably.

I feel like most people in America think that they are superior to people who live in other countries. They seem to focus on material things instead of the simple things in life, such as friendship, love, and family. I feel that after reading most of this book, it made me take a step back and realize all that I have. I can see why many nations do not like Americans, because they appear to be materialistic and not appreciative of traditional values.
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Reading Progress

04/24/2011 page 50
33.0%
05/01/2011 page 50
33.0% "115"
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message 1: by Kelly (last edited Apr 24, 2011 10:45AM) (new) - added it

Kelly Sugalski 1. Examine one aspect of the society and compare/contrast it to a parallel American cultural aspect. Be careful not to choose a topic that is too broad (i.e. technology), instead looking at a specific aspect of that topic, like computer use. This may be something that stood out to you while reading, something you find interesting about American culture, or just something you learned in general.

During the first three chapters of this book I have been very surprised by the way that the Japanese people acted in times of chaos and confusion. The author tells the story of how six people deal and react to the dropping of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. After reading about their experiences, I am shocked by how stoic and unemotional the Japanese people were. Hundreds of thousands were killed or wounded, but the people who were injured were more concerned about helping others that were more severely wounded. “The hurt ones were quiet; no one wept, much less screamed in pain; no one complained; none of the many who died did so noisily, not even the children cried; very few people even smoke” (36). The Japanese people were going through a very traumatic time, but they remained honorable and composed. The people were very selfless in the way that they sacrificed themselves in order to help others that may be worse off.

This traumatic event made me think of Hurricane Katrina that struck the United States in 2005. The people of the United States reacted very violently and were not peaceful because they were struggling to survive. Although the hurricane was very damaging, the atomic bomb was considerably more deadly. I think that if a natural disaster like this struck the people in Japan, that they would react more peacefully and not be so emotional about it. I think this is because of the difference of cultures between the people of Japan and the United States. The Japanese seem to be more focused on the survival of everyone compared to just trying to save themselves in times of danger.


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