War Stories - Morales A.P. Study Form Title: "Atomic...

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Morales A.P. Study Form Title: “Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki (told by flight member)” Author and date: William L. Laurence, published 1945 in New York Times Main characters (and one-sentence description of each) William Laurence provides an eyewitness account of the bombing Main setting (and one-sentence description of each) The story takes place in World War 2, more specifically in B-29 Superfort planes heading to Nagasaki. One paragraph plot outline: William’s eyewitness account of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki is very vivid. He describes in great detail the sheer power and destructive force of the atomic bomb. Its ability to decimate millions of people within a few seconds makes the protagonist speechless and in awe. Two symbols and references: Major Charles W. Sweeney o He is only mentioned once, but he functions as an important symbol o He is only 25, yet he is in command of the mission. o During WW2, young adults volunteered in the army to fight for their country—a nationalist point of view o However, they also lose their innocence because they were unprepared by the growing casualties and inglorious nature of war. Atomic Bomb o Throughout the story, the bomb is compared to or depicted in many things o “man made meteor” (141): massive size o The Great Artiste (143): name of bomb; ironic how something that can be terribly destructive can also be beautiful o “a giant ball of fire…ten thousand feet high” (144): sheer power o “Only about forty five seconds had passed” (144): quick and deadly Two or three sentences on style: This story is written in the first person. Compared to other war stories, it does not portray the glorious themes or expectations of war nor the absolute atrocities that occur on the battlefield. Though it is an eyewitness account, he does not express much bias, only fascination with the atomic bomb. One or two sentences on dominant philosophy:
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Morales Laurence is amazed with the atomic bomb’s overwhelming size, power, and construction. It took so much time and effort to build something that can wipe out entire civilizations in a matter of seconds. Four short quotations typical of the work (include speaker, occasion): 1. “Never before had so much brain power been focused on a single problem” (141). Narrator description. World peace, economic instability, dearths of resources in third world countries—all of these were not the priority of the smartest people during that time. It was creating something that the whole world would fear for its destructive might. 2. “ ‘Its power is such that no nation can stand up against it very long.’ This is not my own view. I had heard it expressed all around a few hours earlier” (142). Narrator’s explanation. The atomic bomb is very powerful, boosting the morale of the
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War Stories - Morales A.P. Study Form Title: "Atomic...

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