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The Three Themes of Slaughterhouse–Five
Kurt Vonnegut did a great job in writing an irresistible reading novel in which one is not permitted
to laugh, and yet still be a sad book without tears. Slaughterhouse–five was copyrighted in 1969 and
is a book about the 1945 firebombing in Dresden which had killed 135,000 people. The main
character is Billy Pilgrim, a very young infantry scout who is captured in the Battle of the Bulge
and quartered to a slaughterhouse where he and other soldiers are held. The rest of the novel is
about Billy and his encounters with the war, his wife, his life on earth, and on the planet Tralfamador.
There are 3 themes in the novel Slaughterhouse–Five, that stick in the readers mind as they...show
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Pilgrim," said the loudspeaker. "Any questions?"
Billy licked his lips, thought a while, inquired
at last: "Why me?"
"That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr.
Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything?
Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs
trapped in amber?'
"Yes." Billy, in fact, had a paperweight in his
office which was a blob of polished amber with three
lady–bugs embedded in it.
"Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the
amber of this moment. There is no why" (Vonnegut, p.76–77).
This kind–of off the wall opinion can be interpreted as people being physically stuck in this world,
that people don't have any choice over what mankind as a whole, do and what people head for. The
only thing one can do is think about everything, but it won't affect anything. This idea appears many
times throughout the novel. This is one of the examples, when Billy proposes marriage to Valencia:
Billy didn't want to marry ugly Valencia. She was one of the symptoms of his disease. He knew he
was going crazy when he heard himself proposing marriage to her, when he begged her to take the
diamond ring and be his companion for life (Vonnegut, p.107).
This excerpt directly shows that Billy didn't like Valencia very much and that he actually didn't want
to marry her.
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Slaughterhouse Five Satire
"It begins like this: Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time. It ends like this: Poo–tee–weet?"
(Vonnegut 22). Books don't usually give away the first and last lines at the end of the first chapter.
This is just one of the many absurd things in Slaughterhouse– Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Absurdism has
a strange backstory, but was still used by numerous authors nonetheless. Slaughterhouse– Five is just
one of the many works that can be tied together with this peculiar genre.
Being absurd is seen as being ridiculous or abnormal. It also focuses on not being able to find
purpose(s) in life, "most often represented by ultimately meaningless actions and events" (Absurdist
Fiction). Absurdism was a popular literary movement from the 1940s to 1989 that was mostly
focused in European countries. The high emotions and the decrease of moral and political values
during World War II helped to create the absurdist movement. Satire, dark humor, unusual
...show
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Satire is a type of humor that tries to make the issues of the world the main focal point. This is also
seen as trying to make the world seem absurd, or like it has no meaning. Slaughterhouse– Five is
classified as a satire because of the amount of attention that Vonnegut put on the war. Since he is
anti–war, a lot of his novels end with the fact that all of what happened in the war was for no reason
which is seen mainly in Slaughterhouse– Five. At the end of the book, there was nothing good that
had came from the war deeming it as unnecessary and pointless. Another huge point of satire in the
novel is in the title itself. Slaughterhouse– Five is also titled as The Children's Crusade: A
Duty–Dance with Death. While there are no children mentioned in the book, the title is referring to
the actions of the men in the war. They behaved like children which is satirical because they are
supposed to be men of war, not
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Slaughterhouse Five Perspective Analysis
Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five demonstrates the importance of perspective. It challenges
some of the most important human ideas that unite us and shape the human perspective, and presents
an alternate world that is equally true. In addition, it achieves that status as the "greatest anti–war
book of all time" by demonstrating the missing pieces in our view of war.
The idea of time as linear and inescapable is essential to our understanding of everything. Every
statement that we make assumes that tomorrow will come after today or at least that what we are
experiencing has a place on the timeline, and that this placement is important. When Billy Pilgrim
becomes unstuck in time, his perception changes completely. He experiences randomly...show more
content...
Most anti–war books focus on crimes and suffering that are well known. They present us with
narratives we are already familiar with, but may be more personal, realistic or shocking from one
book to another. Vonnegut presents us with a story he himself says is forgotten, the firebombing of
Dresden. The firebombing of Dresden killed more citizens than did either well–known atomic bomb
dropped on Japan. In addition, the destruction of the city had no clear military purpose. When
Vonnegut, who experienced the event himself, tried to contact government agencies for figures on
its fatalities, the agencies couldn't give him information; they told him it was, "top secret still" (11).
This reveals that we know only a fraction of the horrors of war. Only the events that happen to
become famous are known to us; the rest, just as bad, disappear into obscurity. The firebombing of
Dresden makes us wonder how much more we don't know. It isn't the description of the firebombing
of Dresden that makes Slaughterhouse Five the greatest anti–war book of all time, it is the
suggestion that the firebombing of Dresden is only one crime among the
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Essay about Slaughterhouse-Five: A Peace Novel
War is a tragic experience that can motivate people to do many things. Many people have been
inspired to write stories, poems, or songs about war. Many of these examples tend to reflect feelings
against war. Kurt Vonnegut is no different and his experience with war inspired him to write a series
of novels starting with Slaughter–House Five. It is a unique novel expressing Vonnegut's feelings
about war. These strong feeling can be seen in the similarities between characters, information about
the Tralfamadorians, dark humor, and the structure of the novel. Kurt Vonnegutis an American
novelist from Indianapolis, Indiana, born in 1922. A very important part of his life was when he
served in WWII where he was taken as a prisoner of...show more content...
This kinship can further connect Billy and Vonnegut together. Since Vonnegut is a fourth generation
German, it is possible that Vonnegut could also have a cousin that was a Nazi soldier (Biography).
Though it may be a far stretch, a further connection the two have is the name of their hometowns.
Billy was from the town of Illium, Illinois and Vonnegut was from Indianapolis, Indiana. The
correlation between the two cannot be ignored. Billy could very easily be a way for Vonnegut to
show the emotions that he felt during the war to the rest of the world. The anti–war message is
upheld further with the ironies that Vonnegut provides in the book. One example is "when one of
the soldiers, a POW, survives the fire–bombing, but dies afterward from the dry heaves because he
has to bury dead bodies" (Vit). When Billy and one of his comrades join to other scouts the
Vonnegut portrays as well trained, Vonnegut displays irony by killing the skillful scouts and
allows the less competent Pilgrim and Roland to survive. Roland does eventually die because he is
forced to walk around in wooden clogs that turn his feet to pudding. The greatest example of irony
is seen in what Vonnegut claims to be the climax of the story. He explains the situation before the
story even begins. He is referring to the:
В…execution of poor old Edgar DerbyВ…the irony is so great. A whole city gets burned down, and
thousands and thousands of people are killed. And this one American
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Examples Of Heroism In Slaughterhouse Five
Another example of this technique, which is frequent all over the novel is the topic of three
musketeers which Vonnegut recalls in the first chapter when one of his colleagues is eating a
chocolate called "a three Musketeers Candy bar", he mentions it again in chapter five page 129,
when Billy's wife Valencia eats the same candy bar. It seems that the name of this chocolate reminds
Vonnegut about the war and his friends which used to call their little group in the war "The Three
Musketeers". Slaughterhouse–Five attacks the preconceived belief that war and its members
represent bravery, glory or heroism. Vonnegut condemns the idea of war as justifiable means to
come to the peace through the character of Roland Weary who gets captured by Germans together
with Billy. Weary is portrayed as unpleasant and cruel soldier sometimes he talks of the inherently
Christian service. He names his gang of comrades "The Three Musketeers", are performing by
...show more content...
(37) The repetition of image of "The Three Musketeers" creates a connection between the first
chapter, which is clearly a short introduction about the author's life, with Billy's experience in the
battle and to his post–war experiences. Certain images and stories reappear in Slaughterhouse–Five,
reminding the readers that even though the story is told in a temporal distortion everything is part of
the whole plan. Vonnegut used the repetition of phrases as a narrative technique to help the readers
to remember and bring back the focus to the story. There are various examples of this technique
throughout the novel. Another repeated expression is the color "blue and ivory feet". Billy has "blue
and ivory feet" in the fourth chapter due to a malfunction of the heating system in his
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In the novels, Slaughterhouse Five written by Kurt Vonnegut and What is the What by Dave Eggers,
the authors use techniques to help contribute to the development of the readers' curiosity about how
the story might end. As a result, it leaves them a feeling of wanting more of the storyline until the
very last page. The novel Slaughterhouse Five is written by author Kurt Vonnegut, who experienced
and survived the World War II. He expresses his personal feelings regarding the war through the
main character, Billy Pilgrim and simple language, allowing readers to easily understand and
experience moments of the past, present, and future with him. One the other hand, the novel What is
the What by Dave Eggers, the author narrates the challenging life story in first–person point of view
of a Sudanese refugee, Valentino Achak Deng, Thereby, creating a bridge between readers and
author which similarly allows them to experience the refugee lifestyle and connect on a personal
level. The two novels share a similar technique of using first person narrative with texts that offer a
rich and thorough glimpse into the narrator's involvements through inner dialogue and explanation.
Additionally, the technique of involving authors produces an individualized touch using texts with
emotional experiences that would otherwise go unnoticed by a third party, such as feelings, sounds,
tastes and smell described by the author. Thus, depicting and setting the scene for readers to get
involved in the story from a personal point of view and grasping their attention until the end. In
Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut presents Billy Pilgrim himself, as a character unstuck in time
through simple language. This does not only pursue a page turner for curious readers to easily
experience the past, present, and future with him but also, alluding to the reality of life during the
World War II. Similarly, In What is the What, Dave Eggers narrates his story through feelings of a
real–life character, Valentino Achak Deng, to express the story on the reality of a living refugee.
Kurt Vonnegut utilizes the advantage of a narrative story, using simple language to easily connect
through the readers' thoughts. The use of language simple enough for
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Essay on Slaughterhouse Five
Slaughterhouse Five
Billy Pilgrim is born in 1922 and grows up in Ilium, New York. A funny
–looking, weak youth, he
does well in high school, then he enrolls in night classes at the Ilium School of Optometry, and is
soon drafted into the army. He serves as a chaplain's assistant, is sent into the Battle of the Bulge, and
almost gets taken prisoner by the Germans. Just before being captured he first becomes unstuck in
time. He sees the entirety of his life in one sweep. Billy is transported with other privates to the
beautiful city of Dresden. There the prisoners are made to work for their keep. They are kept in a
former slaughterhouse. Billy and his fellow POWs survive in an airtight meat locker. They emerge to
find a moonscape of...show more content...
Another is peacetime America, where Billy prospers as an optometrist and pillar of society in
Ilium, New York. The last is the planet Tralfamadore, where Billy and his fantasy lover Montana
Wildhack are exhibited in a zoo. Each setting corresponds to a different period in Billy Pilgrim's
life, and the story jumps from one setting to another as Billy travels back and forth in time.
The main characters are: Billy Pilgrim is a World War II veteran, a POW survivor of the
firebombing of Dresden, a prospering optometrist, a husband, and a father, Billy Pilgrim believes
he has "come unstuck in time." Kurt Vonnegut is the author and narrator of the book
and in the first chapter reveals that he himself was on the ground as a prisoner of war during the
firebombing of Dresden. Roland Weary is a stupid, cruel soldier taken prisoner by the Germans
along with Billy. Weary dies of gangrene in a cattle car as the prisoners are being transported from
the lines to prison camps. Paul Lazzaro is a soldier in the war and the man responsible for Billy's
death. Edgar Derby is a former schoolteacher who is also taken prisoner and sent to Dresden. Derby
is sentenced to die by a firing squad for taking a teapot.
Eliot Rosewater occupies the bed near Billy in the nonviolent ward of an asylum after Billy has a
post–war breakdown. Kilgore Trout is the bitter, unappreciated author of clever science fiction
novels, which never sell
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Slaughterhouse Five Summary Chapter 5
Slaughterhouse Five is a book that involves war, time traveling, hallucinations, and aliens. The
book takes place over multiple years and places. Following the life of Billy Pilgrim, the book
takes you on some adventures. Everything seems to take place at once In chapters one through
three the story gets established. You find out that the war parts of the story are the only parts that
are true and the other things are not. Vonnegut talks about he has been unsuccessful in the past
when trying to write this book. He recalls his life post war. At one point he meets Mary O' Hare
who is disgusted at the fact that he is portraying the war with them as manly heros when they were
really just babies. He vows to call the book The Children's Crusade. In chapter one we experience
the first time of his perception of time being distorted. In chapter two you learn...show more content...
In chapter eight Dresden is destroyed, Billy survives by staying in a meat locker. He then is with
Montana Wildhack with the aliens. She is six months pregnant with Billy's child. He tells her
about Dresden and how awful it was. The prisoners travel out to try to find find and end up at an
inn and are allowed in by the blind innkeeper. In chapter nine you learn how Billy's wife dies.
While he is unconscious in the hospital bed after the plane crash he is time traveling once again.
When he regains consciousness he wants to tell everyone about the aliens, but no one will listen.
He travels back to Dresden, two days before the war ends. During this time he cries his first real
tears of war because of the state of the animals he sees. Billy is then in New York and sees
Montana who has there child. She has a locket with the Serenity Prayer engraved on it. In the
final chapter Billy is back in Dresden one last time, where the clean up from the war is happening.
Edgar Derby is executed for taking a teapot. Time passes and it's spring and a bird says to him
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Slaughter House 5 Analysis
Slaughterhouse–Five Passage Analysis Prompt 1– Topic 5 Montana Wildhack wears a locket that is
engraved with the text, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage
to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference" (Vonnegut 209). The same
words appear inscribed on a plaque in Billy Pilgrim's optometry office wall (60). This commonly
known prayer, otherwise known as the Serenity Prayer, is strikingly relevant and significant in
Billy's life and how he goes about it. The prayer appears in both Billy's real life and his
Tralfamadorian life which indicates the likelihood that his Tralfamadorian life is an idealized world
that Billy has created for himself. Billy's inclusion of this prayer in...show more content...
In a sense, the Tralfamadorians grant this prayer for Billy. Their belief in unchanging time means
that nothing can be change which could console Billy by alleviating the pressures that he faces. The
narrator remarks that "among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present,
and the future" (60). Although Billy seemingly does not have the wisdom to tell the difference
between what he can and cannot do, it is apparent through the Tralfamadorian teachings that Billy
does have the wisdom because he is aware that he is unable to change anything. Since time is
circular and all events are structured, nothing can be changed and therefore, Billy knows what he
cannot change, everything. The abduction gives him a new perspective on his reality which allows
him to find the courage to tell the world about his new philosophy and to try to change humanity's
sorrow and pain over death. Perhaps the Tralfamadorian message to Billy was able to grant him
with serenity. The Serenity Prayer relates to the way Billy lives his life. Tralfamadorians unveil their
fourth dimensional view of the universe to Billy Pilgrim and unlock his mind to the circularity of
time. Billy's inability to change events in time both nullifies and magnifies the message of the
prayer. Billy does not have the courage to change the things he can but that inability is irrelevant
considering that there is nothing that he can change. The Tralfamadorians view of time contradict
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Slaughterhouse Five Summary
The second part of the book that I found enjoyable was the more serious topics Vonnegut touched
upon. The purpose, as stated in the first chapter, was to write a book about Dresden. I had never
previously known about this city existing much less that it was destroyed by allied troops. One
would think that with two years of history classes from that era in time, we would have heard it
mentioned at least once. That was his entire point, thousands of people died and nobody even talks
about it. He did not want to address the actual bombing as an event though, he more so wanted to
show the effect it had on the soldiers. Slaughterhouse 5 is really anti–war sentiments based upon
Dresden and its effect on Billy Pilgrim. The first way in which this
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Slaughterhouse Five Analysis
War Weeping For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This statement means that
in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the interacting objects. Newton's 3rd law of
motion captures what many people think of war. For every action in war in which for one side sees
beneficial, there is a tragic, opposite reaction that affects the opposing side. Split war into two teams.
Team A and Team B. Team A might see it as beneficial to firebomb Team B causing upwards of 25
thousand plus people. Many of them innocent. If you are on Team A you might see this as a good
move and needed but you don't truly see the opposite reaction from Team B. In both
"Slaughterhouse 5" by Kurt Vonnegut and "We Bombed New Haven" by Joseph
...show more
content...
The order to bomb Constantinople shows that war is too real. Without a question the airmen are
ordered to bomb Constantinople and can't be real to themselves but have to do it without
thinking. But when one aviator is killed on the raid and the sergeant, realizing that he is next to
die, decides to skip over the hill. The new aviator in place of the dead aviator is not much but a
teen. While this was subtle this is another example of how real war is. The dead airmen is
replaced by a young man with a full life ahead of him. I believe President Herbert Hoover said it
best about just how real war is when he said that "Older men declare war. But it is youth that must
fight and die." This theme is apparent constantly because it is always next man up and each and
every soldier knows that. This is real for the airmen. They know that death is real and the young
men that served had to understand that they will die. Whether it be 50 or 60 years down the road
peacefully or in a month in
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Critical Essay Of Slaughterhouse Five
Slaughterhouse Five
Critics of Kurt Vonnegut's are unable to agree on what the main theme of his novel Slaughterhouse
Five may be. Although Vonnegut's novels are satirical, ironical, and extremely wise, they have
almost no plot structure, so it is hard to find a constant theme. From the many people that the main
character Billy Pilgrim meets, and the places that he takes us, readers are able to discern that
Vonnegut is trying to send the message that there will always be death, there will always be war,
and humans have no control over their own lives.
Most of the book is the narrative from Billy Pilgrim a unique character who has the ability to
become "unstuck in time",...show more content...
Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber?'
'Yes.' Billy, in fact, had a paperweight in his office which was a blob of polished amber with three
lady bugs embedded in it.
'Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.'
Vit interprets the passage as humans being physically stuck in this world, that we don't have any
choice over what we, mankind as a whole, do and what we head for. The only thing we can do is
think about everything, but we won't affect anything. This idea appears many times throughout the
novel. This is one of the examples, when Billy proposes marriage to Valencia:
Billy didn't want to marry ugly Valencia. She was one of the symptoms of his disease. He knew he
was going crazy when he heard himself proposing marriage to her, when he begged her so take the
diamond ring and be his companion for life.
This excerpt directly shows that Billy didn't like Valencia very much and that he actually didn't
want to marry her. However, he was "stuck in amber". Or, for example, Billy knew the exact time
when he would be killed, yet didn't' try to do anything about it. He couldn't have changed it anyway.
Wayne Thompson thinks
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Slaughterhouse Five Rhetorical Analysis
Vonnegut is very keen to express his choice of words throughout the novel, Slaughterhouse–Five.
The phrase that is mentioned the most is "so it goes". This phrase is mentioned over a hundred
times at full length of the novel. At every time someone dies in the novel or a tragedy happens
Vonnegut ends the passage with "so it goes". Because the main focus of the novel is on the
bombing of Dresden, Vonnegut is making a point that the war is awful but inevitable. He uses
repetition to promote how common and cruel war and death is, in the big scheme of things. An
observation done by Allen says "The plain old death will be there anyways. It leads us to the idea
that, given that we all must die anyway, often cruelly or prematurely. The commonness...show more
content...
One of the main reasons of the use of sarcasm is that, Vonnegut uses his humor to cover the dismay
of the war. Vonnegut spent time served in the army and used that knowledge to write
Slaughterhouse–Five. "In the autobiographical first chapter, Vonnegut introduces the opposed ideas,
which the narrative proper will develop, evolving from his twenty–three–year attempt to come to
terms with the horrors of Dresden" (Vanderwerken 47). In doing so, he is able to overcome some
of the horrors with sarcasm. His satire doesn't just help himself get through the memories but it
helps his audience as well. The novel enables the reader to realize the horrors of war while getting
a laugh at some of the strange situations war can generate. He explains his writings in a vivid
color, things in this world that the rest of humanity may only see in black and white due to his take
of creativity and sense of humor. By the same token he sees life as arather dark subject; it's the
ultimate joke at our
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Summary Of Five Quotes From Slaughterhouse Five
Quotes
Notes
"The nicest veterans in Schenectady, I thought, the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated
war the most, were the ones who'd really fought." (Chapter 1)
Slaughterhouse Five is an anti–war book. Who better to understand the horrors of war than those
who fought in it.
''Billy first came unstuck while World War II was in progress. Billy was a chaplain's assistant in
the war. A chaplain's assistant is customarily a figure of fun in the American Army. Billy was no
exception. He was powerless to harm the enemy or to help his friends. In fact, he had no friends.
He was a valet to a preacher, expected no promotions or medals, bore no arms, and had a meek faith
in a loving Jesus which most soldiers found putrid." (Chapter 2)...show more content...
Tralfamadorians would argue that humans never know the difference between the things they cannot
change, nothing is negotiable in a universe of predefined, structured moments.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom always to tell the difference." Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the
past, the present, and the future." (Chapter 3).
This quote provides an excellent example of meiosis. Billy has no control over anything that
happens in his life and he has accepted it.
"I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time
is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is."
(Chapter 4).
Billy resigns himself to the Tralfamadorian philosophy that he has no control over his life and
creates a make believe escape through the novels of Kilgore Trout and time–traveling hallucinations
"So they were trying to re–invent themselves and their universe... Science fiction was a big help."
(Chapter 4)
Billy Pilgrim's uncontrollable sobbing and erratic sleep patterns causes him to voluntarily enter a
mental hospital in trying to recognize
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Slaughterhouse Five Themes
Slaughterhouse Five is a book that employs heavy themes to make the reader to not only delve
into a realm of thought but also into belief. The themes that the book seems to point to appear to
be free will, and human nature. The book seems to portray the idea that we are all destined for
something, and that no matter what choices we make it will always end the same. Due to this,
Kurt litters the book with religious messages, catholic prayers, inferences to the old and new
testament in the bible, and a very straightforward idea of a greater power (in this case the
tralfamadorians), in order to make the reader question if there is in fact destiny, free will. One
example referring to religion is part of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The quote,
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Slaughterhouse Five Analysis
Through the acceptance of capitalism, Marxism creates three levels of culture which work both
together and against each other applicable to multiple points in society. The upper class works
towards the goals of the middle class while often acting as an oppressor to the lower classes. In
Joseph Heller's Catch 22 and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, it is proven that the power of
oppressive forces mentally damages the lower classes, thus enforcing the oppressors' power. This
lower class population faces harmful manipulation due to the isolation, the loss of free will, and
physical loss that the oppressive leaders put them through. Thus, the works represent the lower
classes and their struggle to face the excess power given to the superstructure....show more content...
They fight on behalf of their country versus for their direct benefit, under exploitation by the
superstructure. Enlisting oneself in war represents a loss of control, fighting for a conflict that
lifts the upper class and enforces nationalism. After travelling back to World War II and becoming
lost behind enemy (German) lines, Billy loses his choice to die amongst his colleagues need to
move forward: "[Roland Weary] had been saving Billy's life for days, cursing him, kicking him,
slapping him, making him move. It was absolutely necessary that cruelty be used, because Billy
wouldn't do anything to save himself. Billy wanted to quit" (Vonnegut, p16). Weary, under the
control of military heads can be identified as the middle class, pushing Billy to move forward
beyond his own choice. The middle class follows the structure of the upper class in the situation,
whereas the lower class is dragged behind with minimal acceptance. Starving, lost, and without hope
Billy proves the damaging mental effects of war by ultimately wishing he could die (or that Weary
would let him die). To conclude, the lack of choice places the proletarians in a position of pain and
struggle, weakening their mentality and maintaining their class
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Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five Essay
Slaughter House Five Expaination Based on Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s book by the same name,
Slaughterhouse Five has been described by many as one of the best anti–war novels of the 20th
Century.
In Slaughterhouse Five, Billy Pilgrim finds unstuck in time jumping between several periods of
his life. From his experience as a prisoner of war in World War II to his suburban family life in the
1950s and 1960s, and his experience as a human specimen in an alien zoo on a distant planet, Billy
seemingly has no control over these transitions, many seemingly coming without warning, others
may be provoked by events at hand.
As disconcerting as the non–linear format may seem to some viewers, the nature of Billy's jump in
time are not nearly as...show more content...
As we watch Billy's life unfold through these series of glimpses into his world, a picture begins to
emerge of a man whose traumatic experience during World War II has greatly influenced the rest of
his existence. The horrors of war have given Billy a unique perspective on human nature and he
doesn't like what he sees.
While the question of whether Billy is insane or is truly unstuck in time becomes the focal point of
the movie to some extent, it is left to the viewer to draw their own conclusions.
I personally believe Billy's random sequence of events to be his own coping mechanism for
dealing with the traumatic events that shaped his life. Unable to deal with the horrors of his POW
experience, he suppresses them only dealing with them at a later date. In fact there are many
scenes from his World War II experience that parallel his present day life. One scene that comes to
mind is Billy walking up a flight of stairs in his home after coming home from the hospital. The
scene cuts back to Billy's climb out of the bomb shelter in Dresden. This is almost a sense of dГ©jГ
vu for Billy with his past and present reflecting each other. Not just the climbing of the stairs, but the
realization that at both junctures in his life he is climbing into an unknown future.
At one point Billy speaks of having even seen his own death during one of these jumps. He admits
that he has come to terms with his inevitable death and has taken comfort in knowing
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Slaughterhouse Five Essay example
Where innumerous catastrophic events are simultaneously occurring and altering the mental
capability of its viewers eternally, war is senseless killing. The participants of war that are 'fortunate'
enough to survive become emotionally distraught civilians. Regardless of the age of the people
entering war, unless one obtains the mental capacity to witness numerous deaths and stay unaffected,
he or she is not equipped to enter war. Kurt Vonnegutportrays the horrors of war in Slaughterhouse
Five, through the utilization of satire, symbolism, and imagery. The main occurrence in the novel
was the nonsensical bombing of the culturally enriched and beautiful city in Dresden, Germany. On
February 13, 1945 amidst World War II this city was attack...show more content...
Satire describes the literary technique that combines dark humor and irony to criticize and expose
humanity's stupidity. The purpose is to entertain readers with perverted humor while illustrating the
horrors of war that Vonnegut consistently describes, "anyone who seeks glory and heroism in war is
deluded" (Vonnegut 26). The humor found in Slaughterhouse is full of satire, creating laughable
scenes that embody unconventional humor. When Billy Pilgrim is drunkenly searching for the
steering wheel of his car "He was in the backseat of his car, which is why he couldn't find the
steering wheel"(Vonnegut 48). This scene creates dark humor; while it is funny that he is looking
for something where he clearly won't find it, depicts the derangement and detrimental effect war
causes on the mental stability and capacity of its participants such as Billy Pilgrim. The Gutless
Wonder is Kilgore Trout's book about a ruthless killing robot that people dislike due to his bad
breath; ignoring the fact the he is a remorseful killer. This satirizes human morals depicting its
shallowness in caring more about physical attributes than personal ones. Vonnegut first and foremost
satirizes the idea of war. The alternate title for Slaughterhouse Five, Children's Crusade, emphasizes
youth of most soldiers; they are closer to babies than men capable of a
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Satire in Slaughterhouse Five Essay
In Slaughterhouse Five, Vonnegut uses satire in the topics of war, aliens, fate and the reasons for life
itself. In Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, the author uses many literary devices to bring
across his point including black humor, irony, wit and sarcasm. He mainly uses satire throughout the
book. Satire is a literary device found in works of literature that uses irony and humor to mock social
convention, another work of art, or anything its author thinks ridiculous to make a point. Vonnegut is
Kilgore Trout in the novel. The first line of the novel is "Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in
time"(23). By using the word "unstuck", Vonnegut implies that Billy has now become free.
Consequently, Vonnegut's narrative, as well as Billy,
...show more content...
The Tralfamadorians, who explain this nature of time and existence to Billy, are shown as
enlightened creatures while the humans back on earth are seen as backwards –– to such an extent
that they believe in free will. Billy towards the end of his life becomes a preacher of these virtues
of existence taught to him by his zookeepers on Tralfamadore, going around and speaking about
his experiences and his acquired knowledge. This is ironic, because he is attempting to reverse the
steady path of life, even time itself. War is the third topic that is heavily satirized in Slaughterhouse
Five. First, Billy almost gets killed because he is time–traveling. Second of all, Vonnegut always
says "so it goes" (12) whenever someone dies, so it sort of mocks death. Also, he is given a woman's
jacket when he becomes a POW and it mocks his position in the war also. On the nights of February
13–14 in 1944 the city of Dresden, Germany was subjected to one of the worst air attacks in the
history of man. By the end of the bombing 135,000 to 250,000 people had been killed by the
combined forces of the United States and the United Kingdom. Dresden was different then Berlin
or many of the other military targets which were attacked during World War II because it was
never fortified or used for strategic purposes and, therefore, was not considered a military target. At
one point, Billy watches a war movie about WWII. He watches it regularly, showing how reality is.
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Moral Literary Criticism: Slaughterhouse-Five
Ermelinda Izihirwe
Ms. Studniski
English 10
15 May 2015
Moral Literary Criticism: Slaughterhouse–Five We, as humans, spend a considerable portion of our
lives worrying about our future–which is basically every next day, moments in which we wish we
could have done something differently, and the loss of our loved ones. In Slaughterhouse–Five, Kurt
Vonnegutrecounts the adventures of Billy Pilgrim in a chronologically unorganized manner to
mirror all the movement happening in the characters mind. Billy jumps from WW2, to adulthood, to
childhood, and finally, to Tralfamadore, a planet in outer space. During the evanescent moments
which take place in WW2, adulthood, and childhood, Billy undergoes numerous traumatic
experiences, but thinking of...show more content...
According to the aliens, this notion consists of having access to each and every moment of one's
life and, additionally, the ability of seeing all of them simultaneously. Evidently, acquiring this
power contributes to the creation of comfort because it essentially means that the one who has it
can travel to and away from moments they miss or feel uncomfortable in, respectively. Billy first
travels in time during WWII while wandering in a forest somewhere in Germany with Roland
Weary, another soldier. At this point, Billy's distress is evident due to the way in which "he was
leaning against a tree with his eyes closed [...] and his nostrils [...] flaring" (43). From there, he gets
catapulted into other parts of life, most of them relatively bearable than the first one. For example,
he goes to his son's
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Slaughterhouse Five Essay Topics

  • 1. The Three Themes of Slaughterhouse–Five Kurt Vonnegut did a great job in writing an irresistible reading novel in which one is not permitted to laugh, and yet still be a sad book without tears. Slaughterhouse–five was copyrighted in 1969 and is a book about the 1945 firebombing in Dresden which had killed 135,000 people. The main character is Billy Pilgrim, a very young infantry scout who is captured in the Battle of the Bulge and quartered to a slaughterhouse where he and other soldiers are held. The rest of the novel is about Billy and his encounters with the war, his wife, his life on earth, and on the planet Tralfamador. There are 3 themes in the novel Slaughterhouse–Five, that stick in the readers mind as they...show more content... Pilgrim," said the loudspeaker. "Any questions?" Billy licked his lips, thought a while, inquired at last: "Why me?" "That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr. Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber?' "Yes." Billy, in fact, had a paperweight in his office which was a blob of polished amber with three lady–bugs embedded in it. "Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why" (Vonnegut, p.76–77).
  • 2. This kind–of off the wall opinion can be interpreted as people being physically stuck in this world, that people don't have any choice over what mankind as a whole, do and what people head for. The only thing one can do is think about everything, but it won't affect anything. This idea appears many times throughout the novel. This is one of the examples, when Billy proposes marriage to Valencia: Billy didn't want to marry ugly Valencia. She was one of the symptoms of his disease. He knew he was going crazy when he heard himself proposing marriage to her, when he begged her to take the diamond ring and be his companion for life (Vonnegut, p.107). This excerpt directly shows that Billy didn't like Valencia very much and that he actually didn't want to marry her. Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 3. Slaughterhouse Five Satire "It begins like this: Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time. It ends like this: Poo–tee–weet?" (Vonnegut 22). Books don't usually give away the first and last lines at the end of the first chapter. This is just one of the many absurd things in Slaughterhouse– Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Absurdism has a strange backstory, but was still used by numerous authors nonetheless. Slaughterhouse– Five is just one of the many works that can be tied together with this peculiar genre. Being absurd is seen as being ridiculous or abnormal. It also focuses on not being able to find purpose(s) in life, "most often represented by ultimately meaningless actions and events" (Absurdist Fiction). Absurdism was a popular literary movement from the 1940s to 1989 that was mostly focused in European countries. The high emotions and the decrease of moral and political values during World War II helped to create the absurdist movement. Satire, dark humor, unusual ...show more content... Satire is a type of humor that tries to make the issues of the world the main focal point. This is also seen as trying to make the world seem absurd, or like it has no meaning. Slaughterhouse– Five is classified as a satire because of the amount of attention that Vonnegut put on the war. Since he is anti–war, a lot of his novels end with the fact that all of what happened in the war was for no reason which is seen mainly in Slaughterhouse– Five. At the end of the book, there was nothing good that had came from the war deeming it as unnecessary and pointless. Another huge point of satire in the novel is in the title itself. Slaughterhouse– Five is also titled as The Children's Crusade: A Duty–Dance with Death. While there are no children mentioned in the book, the title is referring to the actions of the men in the war. They behaved like children which is satirical because they are supposed to be men of war, not Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 4. Slaughterhouse Five Perspective Analysis Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five demonstrates the importance of perspective. It challenges some of the most important human ideas that unite us and shape the human perspective, and presents an alternate world that is equally true. In addition, it achieves that status as the "greatest anti–war book of all time" by demonstrating the missing pieces in our view of war. The idea of time as linear and inescapable is essential to our understanding of everything. Every statement that we make assumes that tomorrow will come after today or at least that what we are experiencing has a place on the timeline, and that this placement is important. When Billy Pilgrim becomes unstuck in time, his perception changes completely. He experiences randomly...show more content... Most anti–war books focus on crimes and suffering that are well known. They present us with narratives we are already familiar with, but may be more personal, realistic or shocking from one book to another. Vonnegut presents us with a story he himself says is forgotten, the firebombing of Dresden. The firebombing of Dresden killed more citizens than did either well–known atomic bomb dropped on Japan. In addition, the destruction of the city had no clear military purpose. When Vonnegut, who experienced the event himself, tried to contact government agencies for figures on its fatalities, the agencies couldn't give him information; they told him it was, "top secret still" (11). This reveals that we know only a fraction of the horrors of war. Only the events that happen to become famous are known to us; the rest, just as bad, disappear into obscurity. The firebombing of Dresden makes us wonder how much more we don't know. It isn't the description of the firebombing of Dresden that makes Slaughterhouse Five the greatest anti–war book of all time, it is the suggestion that the firebombing of Dresden is only one crime among the Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 5. Essay about Slaughterhouse-Five: A Peace Novel War is a tragic experience that can motivate people to do many things. Many people have been inspired to write stories, poems, or songs about war. Many of these examples tend to reflect feelings against war. Kurt Vonnegut is no different and his experience with war inspired him to write a series of novels starting with Slaughter–House Five. It is a unique novel expressing Vonnegut's feelings about war. These strong feeling can be seen in the similarities between characters, information about the Tralfamadorians, dark humor, and the structure of the novel. Kurt Vonnegutis an American novelist from Indianapolis, Indiana, born in 1922. A very important part of his life was when he served in WWII where he was taken as a prisoner of...show more content... This kinship can further connect Billy and Vonnegut together. Since Vonnegut is a fourth generation German, it is possible that Vonnegut could also have a cousin that was a Nazi soldier (Biography). Though it may be a far stretch, a further connection the two have is the name of their hometowns. Billy was from the town of Illium, Illinois and Vonnegut was from Indianapolis, Indiana. The correlation between the two cannot be ignored. Billy could very easily be a way for Vonnegut to show the emotions that he felt during the war to the rest of the world. The anti–war message is upheld further with the ironies that Vonnegut provides in the book. One example is "when one of the soldiers, a POW, survives the fire–bombing, but dies afterward from the dry heaves because he has to bury dead bodies" (Vit). When Billy and one of his comrades join to other scouts the Vonnegut portrays as well trained, Vonnegut displays irony by killing the skillful scouts and allows the less competent Pilgrim and Roland to survive. Roland does eventually die because he is forced to walk around in wooden clogs that turn his feet to pudding. The greatest example of irony is seen in what Vonnegut claims to be the climax of the story. He explains the situation before the story even begins. He is referring to the: В…execution of poor old Edgar DerbyВ…the irony is so great. A whole city gets burned down, and thousands and thousands of people are killed. And this one American Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 6. Examples Of Heroism In Slaughterhouse Five Another example of this technique, which is frequent all over the novel is the topic of three musketeers which Vonnegut recalls in the first chapter when one of his colleagues is eating a chocolate called "a three Musketeers Candy bar", he mentions it again in chapter five page 129, when Billy's wife Valencia eats the same candy bar. It seems that the name of this chocolate reminds Vonnegut about the war and his friends which used to call their little group in the war "The Three Musketeers". Slaughterhouse–Five attacks the preconceived belief that war and its members represent bravery, glory or heroism. Vonnegut condemns the idea of war as justifiable means to come to the peace through the character of Roland Weary who gets captured by Germans together with Billy. Weary is portrayed as unpleasant and cruel soldier sometimes he talks of the inherently Christian service. He names his gang of comrades "The Three Musketeers", are performing by ...show more content... (37) The repetition of image of "The Three Musketeers" creates a connection between the first chapter, which is clearly a short introduction about the author's life, with Billy's experience in the battle and to his post–war experiences. Certain images and stories reappear in Slaughterhouse–Five, reminding the readers that even though the story is told in a temporal distortion everything is part of the whole plan. Vonnegut used the repetition of phrases as a narrative technique to help the readers to remember and bring back the focus to the story. There are various examples of this technique throughout the novel. Another repeated expression is the color "blue and ivory feet". Billy has "blue and ivory feet" in the fourth chapter due to a malfunction of the heating system in his Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 7. In the novels, Slaughterhouse Five written by Kurt Vonnegut and What is the What by Dave Eggers, the authors use techniques to help contribute to the development of the readers' curiosity about how the story might end. As a result, it leaves them a feeling of wanting more of the storyline until the very last page. The novel Slaughterhouse Five is written by author Kurt Vonnegut, who experienced and survived the World War II. He expresses his personal feelings regarding the war through the main character, Billy Pilgrim and simple language, allowing readers to easily understand and experience moments of the past, present, and future with him. One the other hand, the novel What is the What by Dave Eggers, the author narrates the challenging life story in first–person point of view of a Sudanese refugee, Valentino Achak Deng, Thereby, creating a bridge between readers and author which similarly allows them to experience the refugee lifestyle and connect on a personal level. The two novels share a similar technique of using first person narrative with texts that offer a rich and thorough glimpse into the narrator's involvements through inner dialogue and explanation. Additionally, the technique of involving authors produces an individualized touch using texts with emotional experiences that would otherwise go unnoticed by a third party, such as feelings, sounds, tastes and smell described by the author. Thus, depicting and setting the scene for readers to get involved in the story from a personal point of view and grasping their attention until the end. In Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut presents Billy Pilgrim himself, as a character unstuck in time through simple language. This does not only pursue a page turner for curious readers to easily experience the past, present, and future with him but also, alluding to the reality of life during the World War II. Similarly, In What is the What, Dave Eggers narrates his story through feelings of a real–life character, Valentino Achak Deng, to express the story on the reality of a living refugee. Kurt Vonnegut utilizes the advantage of a narrative story, using simple language to easily connect through the readers' thoughts. The use of language simple enough for Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 8. Essay on Slaughterhouse Five Slaughterhouse Five Billy Pilgrim is born in 1922 and grows up in Ilium, New York. A funny –looking, weak youth, he does well in high school, then he enrolls in night classes at the Ilium School of Optometry, and is soon drafted into the army. He serves as a chaplain's assistant, is sent into the Battle of the Bulge, and almost gets taken prisoner by the Germans. Just before being captured he first becomes unstuck in time. He sees the entirety of his life in one sweep. Billy is transported with other privates to the beautiful city of Dresden. There the prisoners are made to work for their keep. They are kept in a former slaughterhouse. Billy and his fellow POWs survive in an airtight meat locker. They emerge to find a moonscape of...show more content... Another is peacetime America, where Billy prospers as an optometrist and pillar of society in Ilium, New York. The last is the planet Tralfamadore, where Billy and his fantasy lover Montana Wildhack are exhibited in a zoo. Each setting corresponds to a different period in Billy Pilgrim's life, and the story jumps from one setting to another as Billy travels back and forth in time. The main characters are: Billy Pilgrim is a World War II veteran, a POW survivor of the firebombing of Dresden, a prospering optometrist, a husband, and a father, Billy Pilgrim believes he has "come unstuck in time." Kurt Vonnegut is the author and narrator of the book and in the first chapter reveals that he himself was on the ground as a prisoner of war during the firebombing of Dresden. Roland Weary is a stupid, cruel soldier taken prisoner by the Germans along with Billy. Weary dies of gangrene in a cattle car as the prisoners are being transported from the lines to prison camps. Paul Lazzaro is a soldier in the war and the man responsible for Billy's death. Edgar Derby is a former schoolteacher who is also taken prisoner and sent to Dresden. Derby is sentenced to die by a firing squad for taking a teapot. Eliot Rosewater occupies the bed near Billy in the nonviolent ward of an asylum after Billy has a post–war breakdown. Kilgore Trout is the bitter, unappreciated author of clever science fiction novels, which never sell Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 9. Slaughterhouse Five Summary Chapter 5 Slaughterhouse Five is a book that involves war, time traveling, hallucinations, and aliens. The book takes place over multiple years and places. Following the life of Billy Pilgrim, the book takes you on some adventures. Everything seems to take place at once In chapters one through three the story gets established. You find out that the war parts of the story are the only parts that are true and the other things are not. Vonnegut talks about he has been unsuccessful in the past when trying to write this book. He recalls his life post war. At one point he meets Mary O' Hare who is disgusted at the fact that he is portraying the war with them as manly heros when they were really just babies. He vows to call the book The Children's Crusade. In chapter one we experience the first time of his perception of time being distorted. In chapter two you learn...show more content... In chapter eight Dresden is destroyed, Billy survives by staying in a meat locker. He then is with Montana Wildhack with the aliens. She is six months pregnant with Billy's child. He tells her about Dresden and how awful it was. The prisoners travel out to try to find find and end up at an inn and are allowed in by the blind innkeeper. In chapter nine you learn how Billy's wife dies. While he is unconscious in the hospital bed after the plane crash he is time traveling once again. When he regains consciousness he wants to tell everyone about the aliens, but no one will listen. He travels back to Dresden, two days before the war ends. During this time he cries his first real tears of war because of the state of the animals he sees. Billy is then in New York and sees Montana who has there child. She has a locket with the Serenity Prayer engraved on it. In the final chapter Billy is back in Dresden one last time, where the clean up from the war is happening. Edgar Derby is executed for taking a teapot. Time passes and it's spring and a bird says to him Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 10. Slaughter House 5 Analysis Slaughterhouse–Five Passage Analysis Prompt 1– Topic 5 Montana Wildhack wears a locket that is engraved with the text, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference" (Vonnegut 209). The same words appear inscribed on a plaque in Billy Pilgrim's optometry office wall (60). This commonly known prayer, otherwise known as the Serenity Prayer, is strikingly relevant and significant in Billy's life and how he goes about it. The prayer appears in both Billy's real life and his Tralfamadorian life which indicates the likelihood that his Tralfamadorian life is an idealized world that Billy has created for himself. Billy's inclusion of this prayer in...show more content... In a sense, the Tralfamadorians grant this prayer for Billy. Their belief in unchanging time means that nothing can be change which could console Billy by alleviating the pressures that he faces. The narrator remarks that "among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future" (60). Although Billy seemingly does not have the wisdom to tell the difference between what he can and cannot do, it is apparent through the Tralfamadorian teachings that Billy does have the wisdom because he is aware that he is unable to change anything. Since time is circular and all events are structured, nothing can be changed and therefore, Billy knows what he cannot change, everything. The abduction gives him a new perspective on his reality which allows him to find the courage to tell the world about his new philosophy and to try to change humanity's sorrow and pain over death. Perhaps the Tralfamadorian message to Billy was able to grant him with serenity. The Serenity Prayer relates to the way Billy lives his life. Tralfamadorians unveil their fourth dimensional view of the universe to Billy Pilgrim and unlock his mind to the circularity of time. Billy's inability to change events in time both nullifies and magnifies the message of the prayer. Billy does not have the courage to change the things he can but that inability is irrelevant considering that there is nothing that he can change. The Tralfamadorians view of time contradict Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 11. Slaughterhouse Five Summary The second part of the book that I found enjoyable was the more serious topics Vonnegut touched upon. The purpose, as stated in the first chapter, was to write a book about Dresden. I had never previously known about this city existing much less that it was destroyed by allied troops. One would think that with two years of history classes from that era in time, we would have heard it mentioned at least once. That was his entire point, thousands of people died and nobody even talks about it. He did not want to address the actual bombing as an event though, he more so wanted to show the effect it had on the soldiers. Slaughterhouse 5 is really anti–war sentiments based upon Dresden and its effect on Billy Pilgrim. The first way in which this Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 12. Slaughterhouse Five Analysis War Weeping For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the interacting objects. Newton's 3rd law of motion captures what many people think of war. For every action in war in which for one side sees beneficial, there is a tragic, opposite reaction that affects the opposing side. Split war into two teams. Team A and Team B. Team A might see it as beneficial to firebomb Team B causing upwards of 25 thousand plus people. Many of them innocent. If you are on Team A you might see this as a good move and needed but you don't truly see the opposite reaction from Team B. In both "Slaughterhouse 5" by Kurt Vonnegut and "We Bombed New Haven" by Joseph ...show more content... The order to bomb Constantinople shows that war is too real. Without a question the airmen are ordered to bomb Constantinople and can't be real to themselves but have to do it without thinking. But when one aviator is killed on the raid and the sergeant, realizing that he is next to die, decides to skip over the hill. The new aviator in place of the dead aviator is not much but a teen. While this was subtle this is another example of how real war is. The dead airmen is replaced by a young man with a full life ahead of him. I believe President Herbert Hoover said it best about just how real war is when he said that "Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die." This theme is apparent constantly because it is always next man up and each and every soldier knows that. This is real for the airmen. They know that death is real and the young men that served had to understand that they will die. Whether it be 50 or 60 years down the road peacefully or in a month in Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 13. Critical Essay Of Slaughterhouse Five Slaughterhouse Five Critics of Kurt Vonnegut's are unable to agree on what the main theme of his novel Slaughterhouse Five may be. Although Vonnegut's novels are satirical, ironical, and extremely wise, they have almost no plot structure, so it is hard to find a constant theme. From the many people that the main character Billy Pilgrim meets, and the places that he takes us, readers are able to discern that Vonnegut is trying to send the message that there will always be death, there will always be war, and humans have no control over their own lives. Most of the book is the narrative from Billy Pilgrim a unique character who has the ability to become "unstuck in time",...show more content... Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber?' 'Yes.' Billy, in fact, had a paperweight in his office which was a blob of polished amber with three lady bugs embedded in it. 'Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.' Vit interprets the passage as humans being physically stuck in this world, that we don't have any choice over what we, mankind as a whole, do and what we head for. The only thing we can do is think about everything, but we won't affect anything. This idea appears many times throughout the novel. This is one of the examples, when Billy proposes marriage to Valencia: Billy didn't want to marry ugly Valencia. She was one of the symptoms of his disease. He knew he was going crazy when he heard himself proposing marriage to her, when he begged her so take the diamond ring and be his companion for life. This excerpt directly shows that Billy didn't like Valencia very much and that he actually didn't want to marry her. However, he was "stuck in amber". Or, for example, Billy knew the exact time when he would be killed, yet didn't' try to do anything about it. He couldn't have changed it anyway. Wayne Thompson thinks Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 14. Slaughterhouse Five Rhetorical Analysis Vonnegut is very keen to express his choice of words throughout the novel, Slaughterhouse–Five. The phrase that is mentioned the most is "so it goes". This phrase is mentioned over a hundred times at full length of the novel. At every time someone dies in the novel or a tragedy happens Vonnegut ends the passage with "so it goes". Because the main focus of the novel is on the bombing of Dresden, Vonnegut is making a point that the war is awful but inevitable. He uses repetition to promote how common and cruel war and death is, in the big scheme of things. An observation done by Allen says "The plain old death will be there anyways. It leads us to the idea that, given that we all must die anyway, often cruelly or prematurely. The commonness...show more content... One of the main reasons of the use of sarcasm is that, Vonnegut uses his humor to cover the dismay of the war. Vonnegut spent time served in the army and used that knowledge to write Slaughterhouse–Five. "In the autobiographical first chapter, Vonnegut introduces the opposed ideas, which the narrative proper will develop, evolving from his twenty–three–year attempt to come to terms with the horrors of Dresden" (Vanderwerken 47). In doing so, he is able to overcome some of the horrors with sarcasm. His satire doesn't just help himself get through the memories but it helps his audience as well. The novel enables the reader to realize the horrors of war while getting a laugh at some of the strange situations war can generate. He explains his writings in a vivid color, things in this world that the rest of humanity may only see in black and white due to his take of creativity and sense of humor. By the same token he sees life as arather dark subject; it's the ultimate joke at our Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 15. Summary Of Five Quotes From Slaughterhouse Five Quotes Notes "The nicest veterans in Schenectady, I thought, the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who'd really fought." (Chapter 1) Slaughterhouse Five is an anti–war book. Who better to understand the horrors of war than those who fought in it. ''Billy first came unstuck while World War II was in progress. Billy was a chaplain's assistant in the war. A chaplain's assistant is customarily a figure of fun in the American Army. Billy was no exception. He was powerless to harm the enemy or to help his friends. In fact, he had no friends. He was a valet to a preacher, expected no promotions or medals, bore no arms, and had a meek faith in a loving Jesus which most soldiers found putrid." (Chapter 2)...show more content... Tralfamadorians would argue that humans never know the difference between the things they cannot change, nothing is negotiable in a universe of predefined, structured moments. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference." Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future." (Chapter 3). This quote provides an excellent example of meiosis. Billy has no control over anything that happens in his life and he has accepted it. "I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is." (Chapter 4). Billy resigns himself to the Tralfamadorian philosophy that he has no control over his life and creates a make believe escape through the novels of Kilgore Trout and time–traveling hallucinations "So they were trying to re–invent themselves and their universe... Science fiction was a big help." (Chapter 4) Billy Pilgrim's uncontrollable sobbing and erratic sleep patterns causes him to voluntarily enter a mental hospital in trying to recognize Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 16. Slaughterhouse Five Themes Slaughterhouse Five is a book that employs heavy themes to make the reader to not only delve into a realm of thought but also into belief. The themes that the book seems to point to appear to be free will, and human nature. The book seems to portray the idea that we are all destined for something, and that no matter what choices we make it will always end the same. Due to this, Kurt litters the book with religious messages, catholic prayers, inferences to the old and new testament in the bible, and a very straightforward idea of a greater power (in this case the tralfamadorians), in order to make the reader question if there is in fact destiny, free will. One example referring to religion is part of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The quote, Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 17. Slaughterhouse Five Analysis Through the acceptance of capitalism, Marxism creates three levels of culture which work both together and against each other applicable to multiple points in society. The upper class works towards the goals of the middle class while often acting as an oppressor to the lower classes. In Joseph Heller's Catch 22 and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, it is proven that the power of oppressive forces mentally damages the lower classes, thus enforcing the oppressors' power. This lower class population faces harmful manipulation due to the isolation, the loss of free will, and physical loss that the oppressive leaders put them through. Thus, the works represent the lower classes and their struggle to face the excess power given to the superstructure....show more content... They fight on behalf of their country versus for their direct benefit, under exploitation by the superstructure. Enlisting oneself in war represents a loss of control, fighting for a conflict that lifts the upper class and enforces nationalism. After travelling back to World War II and becoming lost behind enemy (German) lines, Billy loses his choice to die amongst his colleagues need to move forward: "[Roland Weary] had been saving Billy's life for days, cursing him, kicking him, slapping him, making him move. It was absolutely necessary that cruelty be used, because Billy wouldn't do anything to save himself. Billy wanted to quit" (Vonnegut, p16). Weary, under the control of military heads can be identified as the middle class, pushing Billy to move forward beyond his own choice. The middle class follows the structure of the upper class in the situation, whereas the lower class is dragged behind with minimal acceptance. Starving, lost, and without hope Billy proves the damaging mental effects of war by ultimately wishing he could die (or that Weary would let him die). To conclude, the lack of choice places the proletarians in a position of pain and struggle, weakening their mentality and maintaining their class Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 18. Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five Essay Slaughter House Five Expaination Based on Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s book by the same name, Slaughterhouse Five has been described by many as one of the best anti–war novels of the 20th Century. In Slaughterhouse Five, Billy Pilgrim finds unstuck in time jumping between several periods of his life. From his experience as a prisoner of war in World War II to his suburban family life in the 1950s and 1960s, and his experience as a human specimen in an alien zoo on a distant planet, Billy seemingly has no control over these transitions, many seemingly coming without warning, others may be provoked by events at hand. As disconcerting as the non–linear format may seem to some viewers, the nature of Billy's jump in time are not nearly as...show more content... As we watch Billy's life unfold through these series of glimpses into his world, a picture begins to emerge of a man whose traumatic experience during World War II has greatly influenced the rest of his existence. The horrors of war have given Billy a unique perspective on human nature and he doesn't like what he sees. While the question of whether Billy is insane or is truly unstuck in time becomes the focal point of the movie to some extent, it is left to the viewer to draw their own conclusions. I personally believe Billy's random sequence of events to be his own coping mechanism for dealing with the traumatic events that shaped his life. Unable to deal with the horrors of his POW experience, he suppresses them only dealing with them at a later date. In fact there are many scenes from his World War II experience that parallel his present day life. One scene that comes to mind is Billy walking up a flight of stairs in his home after coming home from the hospital. The scene cuts back to Billy's climb out of the bomb shelter in Dresden. This is almost a sense of dГ©jГ vu for Billy with his past and present reflecting each other. Not just the climbing of the stairs, but the realization that at both junctures in his life he is climbing into an unknown future. At one point Billy speaks of having even seen his own death during one of these jumps. He admits that he has come to terms with his inevitable death and has taken comfort in knowing Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 19. Slaughterhouse Five Essay example Where innumerous catastrophic events are simultaneously occurring and altering the mental capability of its viewers eternally, war is senseless killing. The participants of war that are 'fortunate' enough to survive become emotionally distraught civilians. Regardless of the age of the people entering war, unless one obtains the mental capacity to witness numerous deaths and stay unaffected, he or she is not equipped to enter war. Kurt Vonnegutportrays the horrors of war in Slaughterhouse Five, through the utilization of satire, symbolism, and imagery. The main occurrence in the novel was the nonsensical bombing of the culturally enriched and beautiful city in Dresden, Germany. On February 13, 1945 amidst World War II this city was attack...show more content... Satire describes the literary technique that combines dark humor and irony to criticize and expose humanity's stupidity. The purpose is to entertain readers with perverted humor while illustrating the horrors of war that Vonnegut consistently describes, "anyone who seeks glory and heroism in war is deluded" (Vonnegut 26). The humor found in Slaughterhouse is full of satire, creating laughable scenes that embody unconventional humor. When Billy Pilgrim is drunkenly searching for the steering wheel of his car "He was in the backseat of his car, which is why he couldn't find the steering wheel"(Vonnegut 48). This scene creates dark humor; while it is funny that he is looking for something where he clearly won't find it, depicts the derangement and detrimental effect war causes on the mental stability and capacity of its participants such as Billy Pilgrim. The Gutless Wonder is Kilgore Trout's book about a ruthless killing robot that people dislike due to his bad breath; ignoring the fact the he is a remorseful killer. This satirizes human morals depicting its shallowness in caring more about physical attributes than personal ones. Vonnegut first and foremost satirizes the idea of war. The alternate title for Slaughterhouse Five, Children's Crusade, emphasizes youth of most soldiers; they are closer to babies than men capable of a Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 20. Satire in Slaughterhouse Five Essay In Slaughterhouse Five, Vonnegut uses satire in the topics of war, aliens, fate and the reasons for life itself. In Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, the author uses many literary devices to bring across his point including black humor, irony, wit and sarcasm. He mainly uses satire throughout the book. Satire is a literary device found in works of literature that uses irony and humor to mock social convention, another work of art, or anything its author thinks ridiculous to make a point. Vonnegut is Kilgore Trout in the novel. The first line of the novel is "Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time"(23). By using the word "unstuck", Vonnegut implies that Billy has now become free. Consequently, Vonnegut's narrative, as well as Billy, ...show more content... The Tralfamadorians, who explain this nature of time and existence to Billy, are shown as enlightened creatures while the humans back on earth are seen as backwards –– to such an extent that they believe in free will. Billy towards the end of his life becomes a preacher of these virtues of existence taught to him by his zookeepers on Tralfamadore, going around and speaking about his experiences and his acquired knowledge. This is ironic, because he is attempting to reverse the steady path of life, even time itself. War is the third topic that is heavily satirized in Slaughterhouse Five. First, Billy almost gets killed because he is time–traveling. Second of all, Vonnegut always says "so it goes" (12) whenever someone dies, so it sort of mocks death. Also, he is given a woman's jacket when he becomes a POW and it mocks his position in the war also. On the nights of February 13–14 in 1944 the city of Dresden, Germany was subjected to one of the worst air attacks in the history of man. By the end of the bombing 135,000 to 250,000 people had been killed by the combined forces of the United States and the United Kingdom. Dresden was different then Berlin or many of the other military targets which were attacked during World War II because it was never fortified or used for strategic purposes and, therefore, was not considered a military target. At one point, Billy watches a war movie about WWII. He watches it regularly, showing how reality is. Get more content on HelpWriting.net
  • 21. Moral Literary Criticism: Slaughterhouse-Five Ermelinda Izihirwe Ms. Studniski English 10 15 May 2015 Moral Literary Criticism: Slaughterhouse–Five We, as humans, spend a considerable portion of our lives worrying about our future–which is basically every next day, moments in which we wish we could have done something differently, and the loss of our loved ones. In Slaughterhouse–Five, Kurt Vonnegutrecounts the adventures of Billy Pilgrim in a chronologically unorganized manner to mirror all the movement happening in the characters mind. Billy jumps from WW2, to adulthood, to childhood, and finally, to Tralfamadore, a planet in outer space. During the evanescent moments which take place in WW2, adulthood, and childhood, Billy undergoes numerous traumatic experiences, but thinking of...show more content... According to the aliens, this notion consists of having access to each and every moment of one's life and, additionally, the ability of seeing all of them simultaneously. Evidently, acquiring this power contributes to the creation of comfort because it essentially means that the one who has it can travel to and away from moments they miss or feel uncomfortable in, respectively. Billy first travels in time during WWII while wandering in a forest somewhere in Germany with Roland Weary, another soldier. At this point, Billy's distress is evident due to the way in which "he was leaning against a tree with his eyes closed [...] and his nostrils [...] flaring" (43). From there, he gets catapulted into other parts of life, most of them relatively bearable than the first one. For example, he goes to his son's Get more content on HelpWriting.net