Two Books By Kurt Vonnegut Jr

834 words - 3 pages

In the books Slaughterhouse-Five and Mother Night, the author, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. presents the reader with two entirely different plots and story lines. The underlying theme for both books however, is the same; stop mindless war, stop mindless genocide of the human race, stop hatred for one another.These zealous antiwar sentiments stem from Vonnegut's personal experiences during World War II. An American ground soldier, Vonnegut was captured and held in the German city of Dresden. During his captivity, the Allied forces fire bombed Dresden, killing 135,000 inhabitants, destroying hospitals, schools, apartment buildings. After the bombing, Vonnegut was assigned the dreadful task of removing and cremating corpses that were rotting throughout city. Recollecting this horrific experience, Vonnegut used his books as a vehicle for emotional truth, namely, hatred for war and murder. The pain of that day was so huge that Vonnegut could not write about it or make reference to it in his books until Slaughterhouse-Five, published in 1969.The conviction of an antiwar book emerges more evidently in Slaughterhouse-Five. The main character, Billy Pilgrim (Vonnnegut himself), a soldier for the Allies during World War II and just like Vonnegut, is captured by the Nazis and held captive in Dresden where he witnesses the same tragedy as Vonnegut did. Pilgrim, however, comes out of the war a crazed lunatic. He has the hallucination that aliens (tralfamadores) abduct him and make him a exhibit in zoo. He greatly admires these trafalmadores because they have no sense of time, the see things from beginning to end, and therefore have the power of seeing destiny and of time travel. According to Pilgrim, they grant him the power to travel through time and seeing all events from beginning to end. Pilgrim asks them, "Why me?", they answer to prove their power of seeing things as a whole, "Why you, why anything, there is no why." Vonnegut uses these trafalmadores as the utopian, ideal society; for they have no wars, because they know how they will end. Vonnegut presents the human race a standard for what the human world should be like. In his last and perhaps most desperate attempt for the human race to reform, Vonnegut pleads, "Robert Kennedy was shot two night before. So it goes. And Martin Luther King Jr. was shot a month before. So it goes. And from Vietnam, the government provides daily body counts...

Find Another Essay On Two books by kurt vonnegut jr

Choice and Direction in the Writings of Kurt Vonnegut Jr

2956 words - 12 pages Choice and Direction in the Writings of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.         Satire in American literature has evolved in response to the development of the American mind, its increasing use of free will, and the context that surrounds this notion.  Satire is the biting wit that authors (labeled satirists) bring to their literature to expose and mock the follies of society.  Satirists can be divided, however, into two groups with very different

Influence of Early Lifa and War on Kurt Vonnegut Jr. to Encourage a Generation Against War

2576 words - 11 pages his experiences in World War II, during the time of its publishing, antiwar groups applied the novel’s themes to the Vietnam War. Early life tragedies and imprisonment established Kurt Vonnegut’s antiwar opinions in his semiautobiographical novel, Slaughterhouse Five, which would influence and encourage the younger Vietnam generation to protest an unnecessary war. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was plagued by calamity throughout his life. Although he was

Billy Pilgrim as a Christ Figure in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Slaughterhouse Five

3072 words - 12 pages Billy Pilgrim as a Christ Figure in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Slaughterhouse Five After reading the novel, Slaughterhouse Five, written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., I found my self in a sense of blankness. The question I had to ask myself was, "Poo-tee-weet?"(Vonnegut p. 215). Yet, the answer to my question, according to Vonnegut was, "So it goes"(Vonnegut p.214). This in fact would be the root of my problems in trying to grasp the character of Billy

Harrison -- a short story by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. turned into a screenplay by me -- Great for media class or creative writting class A- paper

1568 words - 6 pages !George looked pale and was trembling with teary eyes, holding his temple.On the television set, we see that two ballerinas had collapsed and were also holding their heads in pain.Hazel (cont'd)All of a sudden you look so tired. Why don't you stretch out on the sofa so you can rest your handicap bag on the pillows, Honey?Hazel (cont'd)Go on and rest the bag for a little while. I don't care if you rest. You need it!George weighs the bag with his

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

1184 words - 5 pages impacted the young writer to create Post Modernism literature. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was captured by the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge and was kept in Dresden, Germany in a meat locker as a prisoner (“Vonnegut”). Vonnegut was an entryman in the battle; after being captured he was forced to mine corpses where people, including his own, were baked alive and tortured (“Vonnegut”). This made an impact on him because he was scarred with the episodes of

"Slaughterhouse five" by Kurt Vonnegut

10515 words - 42 pages manic version of Kurt Vonnegut, who also wrote science fiction and for years suffered from an indifferent public. Vonnegut uses Trout's books to make fun of many of the values Americans hold dear. At the same time, he gets in a few good swipes at the pretensions of his own profession.In Slaughterhouse-Five (as in the two other Vonnegut novels in which he appears) Kilgore Trout plays a small but important role. His books offer Billy inspiration

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

1480 words - 6 pages and conditions affect the veterans’ most intimate relationships. Langer also gives a specific definition of PTSD and a list of its symptoms with their respective definitions. Since the article relates this disorder specifically to WWII veterans, I plan on using it as a basis for comparison to compare these reactions to those of Billy Pilgrim who would have had very similar experiences. Reed, Peter J. “Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.” American Novelists Since

Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

2109 words - 8 pages In the novel Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, a fictional character named Bill Pilgrim is used to depict the various themes about life and war. Vonnegut went through some harsh times in Dresden, which ultimately led to him writing about the tragedies and emotional effects that come with war. By experiencing the war first handed, Vonnegut is able to make a connection and relate to the traumatic events that the soldiers go through. Through

Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut

1854 words - 7 pages Harrison Bergeron is a story written by Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut’s story is a warning to the world about the quest of equality, which is spreading all round in many nations with America on the lead. The story shows the reader how the equality issue can have negative impacts on people’s individuality, and the society. The story revolves around the protagonist, Harrison Bergeron who is an archetypical symbol that represents defiance, and

"Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut

517 words - 2 pages In "Harrison Bergeron" Kurt Vonnegut depicts a society in which everyone is mentally, physically, and socially equal. Throughout the history of our country, Americans have sought racial, gender, and socio-economic equality. On paper such a society seems ideal. Through the story one might infer that Vonnegut views the concept of total equality as ludicrous. Equality can be interpreted many ways. One point of view is the American belief that

"SlaughterHouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut

3814 words - 15 pages "one of the nicest ones in recent times," for the city has been rebuilt and has returned to a normal existence.Billy also time travels to Dresden, two days after the city was destroyed. All the American prisoners, including Billy, O'Hare, and Vonnegut, are marched into the ruins of Dresden and made to dig out the dead bodies. When one of the soldiers dies of dry heaves caused by the smell of the decomposing bodies, the other soldiers are relieved of

Similar Essays

Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut Jr Essay

1803 words - 8 pages Slaughterhouse-Five: Why War Should Never Happen Kurt Vonnegut Jr., a World War II veteran and author of the literary masterpiece Slaughterhouse-Five, was one of the many there to witness the destruction of the city of Dresden located in Germany, and one of the few to survive to tell the gruesome details. Most of his writing was used to encourage those with anti-war mindsets to take a stand, and to inform everyone else of the damage that is

'cat's Cradle' By Kurt Vonnegut, Jr

914 words - 4 pages In Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, religion is juxtaposed with the concept of a cat’s cradle. Vonnegut uses Bokononism, the book’s main religious theme, to coalesce the idea of a cat’s cradle. Bokononist ideals are similar to a cat’s cradle in several ways, including emptiness or holes, a need for a secondary person and its extra string or unnecessary amounts of string. This is shown in several aspects of Bokononism such

The Arrogance Of The Lie By Kurt Vonnegut, Jr

992 words - 4 pages The Arrogance of The Lie  The Lie, written by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., is a story that stands as a mirror to reflect the ugly image of a condescending faction obsessed with grades and numbers, not actual learning.  Even though it took place years ago, the sickening mind frames still exist in some of today’s people.  They are namely the “elite group” or middle to upper class families.  In the story, Doctor Remenzel is obsessed

The Satirical Writing Of Kurt Vonnegut Jr

1651 words - 7 pages -written pieces by Kurt Vonnegut that I have read include Slaughterhouse-five, "Adam," and "Harrison Bergeron." I am proud to say that Slaughterhouse-five is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. The book is clearly Vonnegut's masterpiece. The book is remarkable in its scope of intelligence and creativity. I was able to gain a clear knowledge of the meaning of the novel as well as enjoy it. The book was set around the Dresden bombing, a