A Doctor’s Journal Entry for August 6, 1945 by Vikram Seth as an anti-war poem

The poem, A Doctor’s Journal Entry for August 6, 1945 is penned down in the form of an entry in a journal by a doctor for keeping records. The entry gave the readers a vivid picture of how the people were taken aback when atomic bombs were dropped on their city of Hiroshima in 1945 during the Second World War.

The poem revolves around the theme of war and the cause of mass destruction which completely disrupts the normal life and economy of the countries involved. The poem begins on a calm note and ends on a horrific tale of blood and destruction.

Vikram Seth has depicted the gruesome reality of first-ever nuclear explosion that was dropped on the city of Hiroshima by the US. The bomb was named ‘Little Boy’ and it was dropped because the government of Japan refused to surrender unconditionally in the Second World War. Three days later, another was dropped onto the city of Nagasaki. The cities turned into a living hell with the survivors running with molten skin dripping off their bodies. The smell of charred bodies and painful screams were heard everywhere.

However, the Japanese withstood the calamity and with undefeated spirit, they rose and rebuilt their shattered cities and revived their world.
The main theme of A Doctor’s Journal Entry for August 6, 1945 is the destruction caused by the atomic bombs on Hiroshima. The poem depicts both mental and physical agony. The poet has described the gruesome reality of the first nuclear explosion and its power to destroy the whole human race. This bombing wiped out two cities and millions died. However, Japan endured the calamity, rose up, (bit by bit my strength/Seemed to revive) and rebuilt their shattered city and their world.

Thus, we can conclude that “A Doctor’s Journal Entry for August 6, 1945” is an anti-war poem. It talks about the humiliation and the nakedness caused by the bombing, it also shows the moral nakedness of those who perpetrated such a brutal act on their fellow humans.

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  1. Written with graphic and vivid description.
    While it enertains as a poem, it also fill one with ‘naked’ horror!!

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