Paper Example on Barbaric Image of America in Literary Texts

Published: 2021-07-28
1051 words
4 pages
9 min to read
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
Research paper
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The outcomes of war are likely to produce atrocities depending on the brutal forces applied by the warring parties. United States involvement in wars with Iraq and Japan elicited reactions that portrayed America as a barbaric nation as far as its military invasion in these two nations was concerned. Various literary texts have been used in depicting Americas brutality when it comes to the wars it waged against Iraq and Japan. Anthony Shadids Night Draws Near and John Herseys Hiroshima are some of the literary texts that have explored elements of barbarism that America did through its attacks on Iraq and Japan respectively. This task will focus on drawing comparison between the works of these two scholars when it comes to tackling the theme of barbaric war involving America.

Comparison between Anthony Shadids Night Draws Near and John Herseys Hiroshima

Hiroshima by John Hersey

John Herseys Hiroshima is one of the texts addressing Americas acts of barbarism through its war on Japan. From the tales of the six atomic bomb survivors, these novel highlights elements of brutality and extreme cruelty applied by America when attacking Japan. In 1945. America dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, leading to a critical humanitarian crisis in Japan. The use of the atomic bomb to revenge on Japan led to the wiping out of the entire Hiroshima city (Rathman 2). The cruelty of the Hiroshimas atomic bombings resulted in the long-term effects of the socio-economic and political settings of the country. Americas invasion immediately plunged Japan into a humanitarian crisis where the citizens were left in horror after the deaths of many Japanese and destruction of the whole city of Hiroshima.

The killings of the innocent civilians epitomize Americas act of barbarism in Japans attacks. According to John Herseys Hiroshima,' parents had to watch helplessly as their children and neighbors succumbed to the impact of bombings. For example, when the bomb goes off, Mrs. Hatsuyo Nakamura watches her neighbors house as it is reduced to debris, with the children inside. In another incident, it is revealed that Miss Toshiko Sasaki, who was an office clerk ends up trapped in the building after the bomb detonates while she was speaking to her colleague (Hersey 63). It is apparent that Hiroshima bombings resulted in mass killings of innocent civilians and destruction of property. The survivors were left with long-term sufferings and injuries that hampered the process of reconstruction. The use of weapons of mass destruction on Japan demonstrated the brutality of America on humanity.

Night Draws Near by Anthony Shadid

Through the Night Draws Near,' Shadid is demonstrating the bleak future that is awaiting people of Iraq after Americas war that aimed at ending Saddam Husseins regime. In this account, the author is not interested in the cause of the war but the ruined and miserable state of the nation in the aftermath of Americas attacks. At some instance, Shadid describes how soldiers are patrolling in the street which garbage-strewn. At some point, children are depicted to be engulfed in fear of bombings perpetrated by U.S. soldiers (Graff 2). The presence of military, tanks and other weapons create concern among the locals in Iraq. The author points out that incidences of bombings, confrontations and the presence of corpses and coffins are a common phenomenon in Iraq after America War. Such practices depict America as a murder and brutal regime which do not value the lives of Iraq people.

Through Night Draws Near,' Shadid achieves to paint a picture of tormented people, who are enduring hardships elicited by Americas invasion of Iraq. In the aftermath of the war, it is demonstrated that individuals are struggling to find the sense of living in a war-ravaged nation that has been left in tartars after Americas attacks. Iraq citizens had been negatively affected by the war to oust Saddam Hussein (Macintyre 3). According to Shadids description of the events that are happening in Iraq after dethroning Saddam Hussein, it is revealed that America did not value the significance of family and integration of the community.

After the jail release, the newly released inmates are welcomed by disintegrated families. One of the elderly woman says I don't know whether he is alive, I don't know whether he is dead (Shadid 54). Under this context, the barbaric image of America is depicted through the damage it perpetuated towards the families. The emergence of war led to integration and displacement of family members, which has brought significant anguish to individuals. Iraq people are compelled to reconstruct their ruined nation. Parents are struggling to feed their children. This is an indication that Americas actions led to deaths and crumbling of Iraqs economy, which was extremely cruel to the locals.


Everything about war can be termed barbaric. Inhuman acts are committed in warfare leading to deprivation of peace and unity to a nation. Most wars are typically characterized by the maiming and killing of the innocent citizens, resulting in humanitarian crises that can have a lasting adverse impact on the development of a country. Anthony Shadids Night Draws Near and John Herseys Hiroshima contend that Americas war on Iraq resulted in the deaths of many people and destruction of property. In both cases, Americas attacks on these nations worsened the situation as depicted by humanitarian crises experienced in Iraq and Japan in the aftermath of Americas invasion. This is an indication that different literary texts have been utilized to highlight Americas barbarism during the war.


Works Cited

B.B.C News. "How John Hersey's Hiroshima revealed the horror of the bomb." B.B.C News (2016): 1-2. web. <>.

Brown, Carl. "Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War." Capsule review (2006): 1-6. print.

Graff, Garrett M. "Night Draws Near: Iraqs People in the Shadow of Americas War." Washingtonian (2006): 1-4. web.

Hersey, John. Hiroshima. Penguin Books Limited, 2015. Print.

Kriticos, Christian. "An Invitation to Hesitate: John Herseys Hiroshima at 70." (2016): 1-2. Web. <>.

Macintyre, Ben. "'Night Draws Near': In the Red Zone." The New York Times (2005): 1-3. Web. <>.

Rothman, Joshua. "John Herseys Hiroshima." The New Yorker (2015): 1-2. web.

Shadid, Anthony. Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War. Picador, 2006. print .



Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: