Having discussed the logistics and design behind the first two nuclear bombs (the only two ever used in war), today we will ask the question of whether or not the bombings were justified / necessary. First the last student group will present Masuji Ibuse’s Black Rain to remind us that the casualties of the bombs extended well beyond those that were killed and discuss the ethics of civilian bombing.
Then, drawing heavily from the declassified MAGIC documents, I will argue that the struggle to end the War with Japan was not necessarily a decision between using the bombs or invading the mainland as it is often portrayed, but rather between using the bomb and diplomatic solutions.
- Read J.G. Ballard’s “The Terminal Beach”
- Answer the following questions in the comments in about a paragraph: Why did Ballard set his psychological exploration on a Pacific Island nuclear test site? What does the site symbolize / allow him to explore? How are the nuclear test and Traven’s depression connected?
- Read the other students’ answers. This is a multi-faceted story, so multiple perspectives will likely be needed for a full perspective.