Hersey's Representation Of Toshiko Sasaki In "Hiroshima".

1498 words - 6 pages

Hersey's narrative of Toshiko Sasaki ends with Sasaki making a speech celebrating her 25th year of being a nun. The story Sasaki ends off with her speech "I shall not dwell on the past. It is as if I had been given a spare life when I survived the A-bomb. But I prefer not to look back, I shall keep moving forward" This shows that at the least, Sasaki had forgiven the Americans for this immoral act, despite the fact that it was they, who left her crippled after the bombing. The ending of the narrative presents Sasaki's story to have a happy ending, her life was not destroyed after the incident of the A-Bomb, and she actually survived it and came out to be stronger. The quote "if it doesn't kill you, it will just make you stronger" fits perfectly with Sasaki. It seems as if her story was about Christian redemption, helping others with their pain after she experienced hers. She had to go through a very large ordeal to come out and be 'closer' to god. God has made her someone, and not just a hibakusha or a victim.After the 6th of August 1945, Toshio Sasaki was trapped underneath an iron shelf next to a fellow workmate at a tin factory where she was working. She was trapped underneath the shelf for 48 hours before any help had arrived, when she was taken out from under the shelf, her leg was left badly disfigured and seemed as if it was broken. Hersey portrays Sasaki to be the helpless victim here, someone who was doing their daily work, and then suddenly a bomb drops, leaving her suffering in pain.The story moves on to Sasaki being left in a courtyard with two other victims for three days without food or water. Finally, people come to find her and she is taken to a relief station where two army doctors look at her wound. She faints when the doctors touch her wound because the pain was too overwhelming. When she wakes up, she hears them discussing whether or not to amputate her leg off because it had gas gangrene on the lips of the wound.Later on, Sasaki moves to a military hospital at Nanoshima and was informed that she had not been infected with gangrene but had a rather ugly compound fracture. She stayed at the hospital that night due to a high fever; she was slowly starting to develop the symptoms of the radiation sickness, red spots all over her body. Sasaki is once again left to be helpless in this part of the narrative; Hersey furthermore presents her to be the victim here. Sasaki had done nothing wrong to deserve all these things happening to her, bad news was hitting her with every moment she was living.Throughout the course of moving from one ruined hospital or shelter to another, Sasaki had encountered many deaths and suffering. After 11 weeks of the bombing, Sasaki's leg was still swelling, and infected. Doctors had made several incisions to try and lessen the infection. When Sasaki saw her leg, she saw that it was three inches shorter than the other leg. The depression slowly started to sink in, she realised that she was going to be left...

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