Essay on Anti-War Sentiments in Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five

Essay on Anti-War Sentiments in Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five

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On the surface, Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five are vastly dissimilar works of literature, each with its own creative style and plot. However, when the texts are examined with a discerning eye one can notice multiple thematic undercurrents such as war fate,time and suffering hidden in plain sight. Overwhelmingly common in Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five are strong anti-war sentiments which show all the ways "war is deleterious towards the human condition."(Marvin) Vonnegut shows how war only causes pointless suffering and destroys the human body through countless ironic deaths, including Edgar Derby's, who is shot for stealing a teapot shortly after hundreds of thousands are massacred in the Dresden fire bombings. Another instance of an ironic death is when Billy Pilgrim and Ronald Weary join the two infantry scouts. Ironically, Pilgrim and Weary, who lack any significant military training, are not killed and the highly trained scouts are. Maybe the single greatest example of irony in Slaughterhouse Five is when the bird remarks " poo-tee-weet", after the fire bombings. This a nonsensical thing to say following such a massacre, but according to critics it shows that war and killing are nonsensical.(Marvin)Arguably , as palpable as the serious physical toll the war exacted on Billy, is how it brought about delirium and instability for him. After the war Billy is relegated to a mental hospital because of his reactionary mental state. Most likely, the cause of this insanity is all the death he witnesses in the war.(Marvin) Unable to cope with all of the suffering he witnesses, Billy slides into a very unstable state. Strangely enough, he discovers the Tralfamadorians, who incidentally hold beliefs that ratio...


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...ing. He is unstuck in time and randomly jumps from one point in his life to the next. He is at one point abducted by the Tranamlfadorains who can see in the 4th dimension and believe that you cannot control your life.

Vonnegut, Kurt. Cat's Cradle. New York: Dell Publishing, 1998. Print.
Felix Honneker is the inventor of the atomic bomb. HE also created ice nine which makes water freeze at room temperature. A reporter who follows the fictional religion Bokonon goes to San Lorenzo to investigate Ice nine. A dictator their named Papa Morenzo rules with an iron fist. He then finds out he has incurable cancer and kills himself with ice nine. His casket falls into the ocean and all the water on the earth freezes. Most people die. He escapes to a cave with Mona and writes his memoir, which is the book itself. Then meets Bokinon and collects the final papers of Bokonon.

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