Kurt Vonnegut Essay

1322 words - 5 pages

Kurt Vonnegut is well-known for his satirical tone of war, American stubbornness, and equality and use of futuristic time periods. Vonnegut is able to persuade people into seeing his way in modern times because of how his stories seem to really hit home (home equals America as a whole). Interestingly, many of the issues that Vonnegut weaves into his stories portray major present day issues. "[He] has typically used science fiction to characterize the world and the nature of existence as he experiences them" as seen in his depictions of war, overpopulation, and the controversy concerning governments' intrusion into peoples' lives (Reed 1). Vonnegut uses his satirical tone and specific settings to "suck in" the reader to make them see from his point of view. He projects these methods of expression in his short stories: "Welcome to the Monkey House", "Harrison Bergeron", and "2BRO2B". Much of the change he wanted dealt with the continuous and brutal wars mankind wages. Because of Kurt Vonnegut's experience as a soldier and prisoner of war, some of his later work focused on satirizing war ("Kurt Vonnegut" 1).When satirizing about war in "Slaughterhouse-Five", Vonnegut blended irony with seriousness and drollery. To begin, he adds himself in the first chapter where he gives a short preview about his war experiences:All this happened, more or less. The war parts anyway, are pretty much true. One guy I knew really was shot in Dresden for taking a teapot that wasn't his. Another guy I knewreally did threaten to have his personal enemies killed by hired gunmen after the war. And so on. I've changed all the names. (Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse 1)The next time he shows up in the story is when he jumps to talking about latrines in a prison camp stating, "An American near Billy wailed that he had excreted everything but his brains. Moments later he said, "There they go, there they go." He meant his brains. That was I. That was me. That was the author of this book" (Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse 125). By bringing himself (Kurt Vonnegut) into the story, he makes it more personal, but inserts himself into a grotesque part of the story to "burn it into the readers mind". By making it personal, he is able to show the reader that he knows what he is talking about, Vonnegut's writing then takes a sudden turn and begins to address serious matters and the satirical issues are then magnified to show their importance.Vonnegut did not only satirize war, but he also satirized America as a whole. His writing seems to satirize the present day school system "No Child Left Behind Policy" but it is altered in the story and is made part of the Constitution in "Harrison Bergeron":The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before god and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th,...

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