Did you know that the bomb “Little Boy” dropped over the Japanese town of Hiroshima was so devastating that the people only had an instant to react before feeling the effects? “A Noiseless Flash”, the first chapter in the novel Hiroshima was written by John Hersey, 1914-1993, describes the overall situation and feelings of the bomb through six characters. John Hersey uses character development, imagery and tone to contribute to the theme of the Unnatural Power of the Atomic Bomb.
Hersey uses the development of characters to add to the motif of destruction. In the story the six characters keep to themselves and are innocently living their life day to day with the constant reminder of war. Because of the devastation from the bomb, the community pulled together. The purpose of the author providing these kinds of details is to show the cruel punishment the atom bomb had on the Japanese people. “Everything fell, and Ms. Sasaki lost consciousness. The ceiling dropped suddenly and the wooden floor above collapsed in splinters. There in the tin factory, in the first moment of the atomic age, a human being was crushed by books.”(Hersey 938) This excerpt shows just how unruly the bomb was. The author uses the development of characters to impact the theme of the unnatural power of the bomb.
The use of vivid imagery can be seen through “A Noiseless Flash” to better describe the theme. The author uses imagery to contribute to the theme by going into great details describing the characters thought and feelings, what happened to the surroundings, as well as the atmosphere the instant the bomb went off. An example of this is when Dr. Fujii was thrown from the falling hospital into the river, “the doctor, still in the act of getting to his feet, was thrown forward and around and over; he was buffeted and gripped; he lost track of everything because things were so speeded up.”(Hersey 934). This colorful image shows the destruction and impact it had on the people of Hiroshima. The imagery Hersey creates makes the reader have a better understanding of the understanding of the unnatural power of the bomb.
The author’s attitude throughout the piece can often be difficult to see but in fact is very simple. John Hersey uses tone to contribute to the overall theme of the destruction of the atomic bomb. He uses an objective tone instead of suggesting his own personal thoughts and opinions. Perhaps this factual, detailed tone suggests that Hersey wanted the readers to relive events just as if they experienced them first-handedly. Then a tremendous flash of light cut across the sky; it seemed a sheet of sun. Both he and Mr. Matsuo reacted in terror.”(Hersey 931) This instance shows the fearfulness the rain of destruction dad on the people. The facts strengthen the theme by supporting the enormity of the atomic bomb “Little Boy”.
In conclusion, John Hersey Uses character reinforcement, dynamic imagery, and his objective diction to support the underlying theme of the unbelievable power of the atomic bomb. We may never feel the experiences of the devastation it had, but through these literary points, John Hersey creates that atmosphere. All in all, would you drop the atomic bomb over innocent people for your country?