The Satirical Writing of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Considered to be one of America's imaginative, original, and talented contemporary writers, Kurt Vonnegut has treated readers to such wonderful works of literature as Slaughterhouse-five and Breakfast of Champions. Most of his many novels, short stories, and plays criticize various wrongs of society. Vonnegut's work is often humorous and light-hearted, mixing settings of fantasy with everyday situations of life. Deeper themes concerning the welfare of society are clearly evident in his satire. Throughout this long career Vonnegut has used his unique style to effectively portray his outlook of the world.
Edith Vonnegut gave girth to her second son, Kurt, Jr.., on November 11, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana. She and her husband Kurt had been married nine years at the time os junior's birth. The couple's eldest child Bernard was born in 1914, and a daughter Alice followed three years later. Kurt, Sr. had built a reputation as a qualified architect and was able to support his family fairly well. Kurt, Jr.'s early education came at Orchard Public School NO. 43 in Indianapolis from 1928 to 1936. After grade school he moved on Shortridge High, where he served as a staff member for the Shortridge daily Echo, the school's newspaper. Here we see his early like for writing. Finding himself interested in biochemistry, Vonnegut, Jr. attended Cornell Daily Sun. A year later in 1943 the young Hoosier transferred to the Carnegie Institute of Technology. Studies there were cut short by his enlistment into the army to fight in World War II.
Vonnegut fought in the battle of the Bulge as a scout for the 106th US Infantry Division, after which he was taken prisoner by the Germans. He along with other American prisoners were put to work in a factory (actually an abandoned slaughterhouse) in Dresden, Germany, that made vitamin supplements for pregnant German women. On February 13, 1944, the city was almost completely destroyed by fire bombs dropped by Allied planes. The surviving prisoners, Vonnegut included, were forced to clean up the rubble and corpses of some 135,000 Germans. His service at Dresden earned him the Purple Cross. His experience of the bombing served as his motivation for his best known novel Slaughterhouse-five.
After the war Vonnegut continued his education and tried a variety of jobs. He attended the University of Chicago, where he studied anthropology from 1945 to 1947. He earned his Master's Degree after returning to school again in 1971. On September 1, 1945, Vonnegut married his high school sweetheart Jane Marie Cox. The two had three children, Mark, Edith, and Nanette. After college he took on the job of public relations for the Chicago City News Bureau for one year. Next he worked in a public relations for the General Electric, Co. In Schenectady, New York, alongside his brother Bernard. In 1950 Vonnegut retired to become a full-time free-lance writer. His first...