Ihuse. Masuji. Black Rain. Trans. John Bester. London: Kodansha Europe Limited, 1994. 120
"Quite suddenly the boy, with an expression of great revulsion, came out with his story. He had been at home when the ball of fire had burst. There had been a sudden flash and a mighty roar, and he had started to run outside. On the instant, the house had collapsed and he had lost consciousness. When he came to, he found himself trapped between beams or other timbers, and his father trying to get them off him. He was using the log as a lever to raise the timbers trapping the boy's leg, urging him all the while to be brave. The flames were drawing in on them and the wreckage of their own house had already caught fire... By now, the fire was closing in on three sides. His father took one look about him and said, "It's no use. Don't think ill of me—I'm getting out. You won't think ill of me, son?" And flinging the log away, he fled. The boy shouted, "Dad, help me!" but his father only looked back once before vanishing from sight. In despair, the boy sank down among the timbers—whereupon, quite suddenly, he no longer felt the restraint on his ankle, and found himself free to crawl out from between the timbers. His leg had slid out from the timbers, just like one of those Chinese puzzles that seem impossible to undo until one chances on the solution." (Ibuse, Masuji. Black Rain. Kodansha International Ltd. Tokyo. 1996 pg 120) [pic]
In the novel, Black Rain, Masuji Ibuse uses tone and structure, as well as imagery to put the reader in a somber mood and create feelings of sympathy and helps develop the theme that the extent of human perseverance can sometimes be shortened by absence of hope.
In the context of this passage in the book, people on the train are sharing their different horrifying experiences of the bombing. Each story indicated the effects of the bomb on the young and the old to the reader. In this particular story, a young boy reluctantly tells his...
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