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The purpose of this report is to critically review the article, “Memory by analogy: Hiroshima mon amour” by Nancy Wood. The article revolves around the memorable events that took place in Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a result of the atomic bombing.
The article is influential in that it uses images to revisit the traumatic events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the author has rightly noted, the use of a love affair makes the film captivating (Wood 185). It is quite painful to recall the events that took place in Japan during the Second World War in the aftermath of the atomic bombing of the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
This trauma is inscribed in Elle’s memory which shows the pain and the destruction that took place. This has been supported by Kedward and Wood (309) who added that the analogies have been drawn between collective commemoration and personal memories of the atomic bombing.
The article has also celebrated the issue of love. Wood (185) notes that people misjudged Elle’s love affair. They thought that she betrayed both, her town and her nation, because of falling in love with a German soldier (Madella 3). The author pairs the horror and traumatic events with a love story, thereby making the analogy both disturbing and surprising (Lammarre 1).
The theme of memory (Madella 2) as elaborated by Saito (353) is used to portray collective identity. Historical circumstances are reconstructed through collective memories which assist in defining people’s collective identity. Although collective memory can be painful, it is useful in the sense that it assists us in conceptualizing history (Saito 353).
Wood (191) notes that although people may fail to notice the importance of women like Elle, her memories help reveal the truth about what befell Japan and her as well (Walden 5). The author gives a view of the processes people undergo after an incident as they try to forget the past. It also shows the importance of letting go of the past even under circumstances whereby it is very hard to forget past memories.
The major weakness of the article is that the author repeatedly makes the traumatic events more dreadful as it is painted all over the article. The major strength of the article is that the writer attributes the bombing as the reason why the Second World War ended (Woods 187; Hogan 1). The prose and the explanation of the bombing is useful as it captures the reader’s attention, thereby encouraging him/her to continue reading in order to know the truth.
In my personal opinion, the article is well written, precise and elaborate. In addition, it gives an overview of the traumatic experiences and sad memories of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The capture of the past events and converting them into a speech or analogy is also captivating. Nonetheless, the film analogy generates a bit of unease, especially on the atomic annihilation that took place at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Overall, I feel that the author’s analyses and critic on the film touches on all the different dimensions that need to be reviewed.
The article is easy to read and informative. In addition, the author has also tried her best to analyze the film, thereby depicting how the events took place.
Hogan, Michael J. Hiroshima in History and Memory. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. Print.
Kedward, H R, and Nancy Wood. The Liberation of France: Image and Event. Oxford: Berg, 1995. Print.
Lamarre, Thomas. “Trauma by Analogy, canlit.ca.” Canadian Literature, 8 Dec. 2011. Web.
Madella, Alessandra. “The Woman Condition: Love and Technology In Hiroshima Mon Amour. PDF files. 21 Nov. 2012. <https://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=2629&context=etd>.
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Saito, Hiro. “Reiterated Commemoration: Hiroshima as National Trauma.” Sociological Theory 24.4 (2006): 353-3376. Print.
Walden, Jenny. Hiroshima Mon Amour inscription on the body and the promise of justice. University of Portsmouth UK. 2010.
Wood, Nancy. Vectors of Memory. Oxford: Berg, 1999. Print.