Hiroshima

by: John Hersey

Chapter Five: The Aftermath

Summary Chapter Five: The Aftermath

Hersey’s most stylistically interesting section in Chapter Five is the final one, in which he intersperses Mr. Tanimoto’s story with facts about worldwide nuclear development. These facts heighten the pace of the section and remind us of the urgency of the threat of nuclear warfare. Moreover, his inclusion of other voices—the Tokyo government and the American Consul General—provides a valuable outside perspective and gives us a clue to the kind of Cold War paranoia that can silence those who, like Tanimoto and Hersey, want peace. The last paragraph of the narrative, when Hersey describes Mr. Tanimoto’s cushy life, can also be read as a political jibe at the complacency of today’s citizens. About Mr. Tanimoto he notes, “His memory, like the world’s, was getting spotty.”