What does the speaker mean by ‘shadowy forms of people’ in Vikram Seth’s poem ‘A Doctor’s Journal Entry for August 6’? Why were they looking so? Explain briefly the effect of bombing on them.
Here ‘shadowy forms of people’ indicates how the people looked like when they were marching towards the hospital after the atomic explosion in Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. They were all silent and were walking like ghosts and scarecrows with the burns and injuries in different parts of their body.
The people were looking shadowy because of the black spots they had received on their bodies. Moreover, the narrator (the doctor) was also not in a great mental stability.
The poet has depicted a clear picture of the aftershock of the bombing. The men and women received severe injuries and burns. They also received a mental shock that they could not overcome at that short span of time. The people were all walking towards the hospital. They were all naked, as their clothes had been burnt by the flashes. Nobody had any idea about what exactly happened. Nobody was in a mood or condition to utter a word.