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Transcript of The Rite
in Hiroshima, Japan to a middle-class
family. August 6th, 1945
The Enola Gay dropped the
bomb Little Boy on the port town
of Hiroshima. 140,000 deaths of Japanese civilians
and many more left homeless. The story "The Rite" was not published until nearly twenty years after the bombing. Takenishi, unlike many other post-Hiroshima authors, took a very different approach to writing this tale. She blurred the lines of dream and reality using the eyes of a mentally damaged survivor, and never takes the time to name the event or place it in any time frame. In fact, she never even mentions the town at all. The survivor She, like many others, was mentally damaged by the attack. She is obsessed with finding a rite, or a way to appease the spirits of the ones who died during the attack, and is constantly fighting with herself. Aki, the main character, is ,
like Takenishi, a survivor of the bombing. Two things that really made an impression on her was the old laborer, who lived next door to her childhood home, dying, and the nightmare she had about her friend Setsuko dying in her hospital bed. Friends The dead and the effects of the bomb on the living Aki convinces herself that her childhood friends are still alive and well despite all the evidence against that.
Her friend Tomiko who is pregnant, miscarries likely due to the effects of the bomb.
The mother of one of Aki's friends goes insane after her child goes missing.
The sister of one of her other friends drowns herself out of grief.
Get inside the mind of a survivor.