John Hersey’s article ‘Hiroshima’, first published in the New Yorker on the 31st of August 1946, was influential in shaping both American and Global sentiment in regards to the deployment of nuclear weapons , startling a previously apathetic populace into confronting the horrors encountered by individuals in Hiroshima.
Hersey bases his article around the experiences of six individuals present during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, instead of recounting in totality the effects of the bomb, the focalisation on the individuals gives a distinctly human feel to the composition, a significant factor when referring to how the text directed sentiments, since the American population In particular only had limited exposure to the implications that the dropping of the bomb had, due to stringent censorship on Hiroshima related material and the exposure they did have, for example pictures taken of nuclear weapon testing on the bikini atoll failed to encapsulates the ‘human’ effect of the bomb. This victim’s point of view allowed audiences to connect with those affected on a personal and emotional level, enabling a greater flexibility when influencing sentiment.
Another principal device utilised by Hersey, which complimented the individual viewpoints of the victims and allowed him to affect human sentiment, was the adoption of a flat, deliberate modal base which was free from any bias or mediation that a more emphatic style of writing would impart. In the words of the author himself “A high literary manner, or a show of passion, would have brought me into the story as a mediator, I wanted to avoid such mediation, so the readers experience would be direct as possible”, this reinforces the notion that the direction of readers sentiment would not be influenced by the composition of Hersey himself, but rather on the actual events of the deployment of nuclear weapons.
Regarding the actual shift of global and American sentiment, the publication of Hiroshima sparked little...