An Analysis of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Karol T. Bista
Mr. M. W. Hickman
October 12, 2015
An Analysis of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five features numerous characters, some of which are major, and others minor. Primarily, the major characters, in no particular order, starts off with Billy Pilgrim, arguably the main character and hero of the book itself. Billy Pilgrim is almost like a funny looking, ragdoll or tool-like character during the course of the book. He becomes unstuck in time, and uncontrollably is able to travel throughout time from his early years of life to his days as a prisoner of the Germans during World War II, his abduction by the Tralfamadorians, all the way to his days in a mental home. Alongside Billy, the narrator is probably the next most major character. The narrator is writing a war book, and he proceeds to tell the story of Billy as he travels through time, having given up on writing his war book. He often included himself in the story as ‘Kurt Vonnegut’ himself, keeping an anti-war sentimental voice, and some rather subtle wisecracks. Bernard V. O’Hare is another important character, a friend of the narrator, both of whom have fought in World War II together. Bernard has aged a lot, and doesn’t drink or act as he used to.
Paul Lazzaro, another major character, was a soldier who was kept as a prisoner alongside Billy. He had a body conditioned even worse than that of Billy, he was weak, had rotting teeth and bones, and boil-scarred skin. He is very hateful and violent, and vows vengeance for Roland Weary by having Billy shot. Valencia Merble is Billy’s wife, and the daughter of the owner of the optometry school, which Billy attends....
... middle of paper ...
...not want. “Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time” (Vonnegut 23): the speaker of the occasion is the narrator, and the occasion is when the narrator reveals that Billy is able to travel time, so to speak; truly he does this without total control, but he is able to travel time at random times, and visit from his birth to his time during World War II, and his death. “Billy is spastic in time, has no control over where he is going next, and the trips aren’t necessarily fun. He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next” (Vonnegut 23): the speaker of the occasion is the narrator, and the occasion is the beginning of the second chapter when it is addressed Billy has lost control over time, but also feels phony in his own life; his lack of conviction makes him into a nontraditional hero.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In Slaughterhouse- five, Kurt Vonnegut successfully combines historical and biographical pieces to create the novel. But did he take his content too far. Vonnegut purposely gives accurate accounts of his lifetime to make his novel realistic. The realism depicted in the story includes real life descriptions of sex and gore filled images. Vonnegut also makes a habit of having dialogue with profanity. Many schools have tried to ban Slaughterhouse- Five because of the absurd amount of profanity, sexual scenes, and unpatriotic theme.... [tags: Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim]
1872 words (5.3 pages)
- Analysis of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five Section One- Introduction Slaughterhouse-Five, written by Kurt Vonnegut Junior, was published in 1968 after twenty-three years of internal anguish. The novel was a "progressive work" after Vonnegut returned from World War II. Why did it take twenty-three years for Kurt Vonnegut to write this novel. The answer lies within the book and within the man himself. Kurt Vonnegut served in the Armed Forces during World War II and was captured during The Battle of the Bulge.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five Essays]
2383 words (6.8 pages)
- ... He soon married and had three children, and worked at General Electric and wrote and published short stories to support his family. In 1952, his very first novel, “Player Piano” was published. Over the next 17 years, Vonnegut published 5 more novels, including Slaughterhouse-Five in 1969. This was the book that launched his fame, and a film adaptation of the book soon followed in 1969, which was successful and only increased his popularity further. He went on to write 9 more novels before his death in 2007.... [tags: Germany, Bombing, World War II]
1184 words (3.4 pages)
- Though war is a traumatizing and miserable experience, it may also be able to move and inspire people to write a brilliant piece of literature. One example, for instance, is Kurt Vonnegut who may have been stimulated by the war, thus writing Slaughterhouse – Five. Though one may categorize this piece as science fiction or even auto - biographical, it can also be interpreted as an anti – war piece. Because Vonnegut is classified as a post modernist, one can take into account all the details, such as the similarities between the main character and Vonnegut, the Tralfamadorians, and the style and themes of the novel, and interpret this piece with an anti – war perspective.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
1583 words (4.5 pages)
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is quoted saying, “The trouble with me is that I’m an outsider. And that’s a very hard thing to be…” At one point or another everyone has felt like an outsider in his or her life. In the novel Slaughterhouse Five Billy Pilgrim suffers from feeling like an outsider a great deal as he struggles with his PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). From a Marxist Critic’s standpoint a lot of his struggles may also be due to his social and economic class. From being treated like an animal while he was a prisoner of war to coming home and practically being handed more money than he knew what to do with, Billy didn’t know how to cope.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut]
755 words (2.2 pages)
- Slaughterhouse-Five is a novel which has been challenged for its graphic descriptions of events which occurred during the later years of World War 2. There are many other reasons which prompted communities to ban the book such as its anti-religious thoughts and sexual content. Although this book is highly graphic and can be offensive toward some religions, it should not be banned because it shows you the inside of a person who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and it also encourages readers to think differently of how life works and gives historical information about a firsthand experience of being a prisoner of war and a survivor of the bombing of Dresden.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, World War II]
1242 words (3.5 pages)
- Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse-Five depicted that war is not going to be ever justified because innocent lives are always compromised. The text has three themes: the destructiveness of war, the illusion of free will and inevitable death. Destructiveness of War For the setting of the story, Dresden was juxtaposed Trafalmador. The former was hell on Earth and the latter, heaven. After Dresden was bombed and the soldiers emerge out of a slaughterhouse, Dresden was devastated. According to Vonnegut, it was clear that the intention was to kill everyone in Dresden.... [tags: literary analysis, kurt vonnegut]
1304 words (3.7 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 the use of Billy Pilgrim and the other characters, Vonnegut is able show the horrific affects the war can have on these men, not only during the war but after as well.... [tags: literary analysis, kurt vonnegut]
1602 words (4.6 pages)
- By looking at Billy’s condition during the war, we can see that the war was not as glorious as the countries wanted you to think which at the time was not obvious. This adds a critical and significant point of view on the war to Vonnegut’s anti-war book. During WWII, the fighting countries didn’t want to show how terrible war really was, instead they showed images of patriotic men fighting in the war. In reality, these “men” were just kids out of high school and some from college, not ready to fight battles in a war.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Billy Pilgrim]
1057 words (3 pages)
- Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut was an anti-war book about the bombing of Dresden. The main theme of the book seemed to be fate, or that nobody has free will. Throughout the book, Billy, is randomly traveling in time. Whenever he has the opportunity to make a choice that would seem like the right, or intelligent thing to do, he does not, as he does not have the free will to make that choice. This also leads to Billy not caring about many things, knowing they will happen no matter what anybody does.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Kurt Vonnegut]
913 words (2.6 pages)
- The Effects Of Culture On Personality And Personality By Harry Triandis And Eunkook Suh
- New Generation : Developing Technology Action Plan
- How Pluralism Is The Single Most Influential Era Of Urban School Reform
- Cyber Bullying And Social Media
- Overcoming The Fallacious Stigma Of Jr. College
- Staffing Issues Among The Nursing Profession