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This Essay Is On The Novel Entitled Slaughter House Five By Kurt Vonnegut

3960 words - 16 pages

Schlachthof FünfSlaughterhouse-FiveThe novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, raises many important questions that surround itself with one of the major themes in the novel. Themes such as life and death, the role of fate in one's life, time and space, acceptance and human dignity (just to name a few). Slaughterhouse-Five forces the individual who reads it to ask many moralistic questions. Questions such as where he/she would spend eternity, what is one's purpose in life, what is faith and morality and if there is such a thing in this cruel world then why children would be called to fight in a war and participate in a 'duty dance with death'. Kurt Vonnegut attempted to answer some of these questions that have plagued society with his novel, Slaughterhouse- Five.Vonnegut wrote Slaughterhouse- Five so that the book's protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, ventured out to various occurrences in his life. Throughout the course of the novel, Billy used time travel to endeavor answering those questions. Billy Pilgrim was portrayed as being an all time unusual protagonist for a war novel. Billy is weak, submissive, and often ludicrous. His nature is not equipped for war in any way and this is proven true what he nearly dies wandering behind the German lines during the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he finished his academic career, became an optometrist, and married Valencia Merble-a woman who was bought up from a well to do family. Billy Pilgrim's ludicrous personality soon came into play when he began to believe that aliens who inhabited the planet Tralfamadore abducted him. There he remains to be "unstuck in time"- a term used to express the experience of his life out of chronological order.Many passages, motifs, and symbolisms help convey Vonnegut's messages that he expressed in the themes of Slaughterhouse-Five. A reference that may be made to prove this statement factual would be the elements of the title page. The title Slaughter- house-Five simply refers to the Schlachthof Fünf translated into slaughterhouse-five, a slaughterhouse stationed in Dresden, Germany. The alternative title, The Children's Crusade, refers to the Children's Crusade, which took place in the year of 1213, "when two monks got the idea of raising armies of children in Germany and France, and selling them in North Africa as slaves." The Children's Crusade draws many parallels to Slaughterhouse-Five and to the life of Billy. In Slaughterhouse-Five, the men who were selected to go to war are mere adolescents themselves, ranging form the age of twenty years of age to grown men, yet never having the opportunity to know what life truly was. For instance, Billy Pilgrim was twenty-three when he was sent to war.Slaughterhouse-Five's alternative title, The Children's Crusade is simply because during World War II, all the men that volunteered to participate in the war did not know what was truly awaiting them and what turmoil they would face. The Christians faced the same adversity when they...

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