The narrator appreciates Lot’s wife deeply because she “looks back” which is what American society fails to do after World War II and, in doing so, fails to recognize their own faults. Rumfoord epitomizes this attitude when he tells Billy, a survivor of the Dresden firebombing, that the bombing of Dresden “had to be done” (253). The diction of ‘had’ and the emphasis placed on it indicates an attitude that America’s obliged to destroy the unarmed, civilian city. Furthermore, ‘done’ has a double meaning in the...
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...and Gomorrah, except that Dresden does not represent inherent evil. Through the biblical reference of Lot’s wife and her role in Sodom and Gomorrah, a critique of war and of the slaughter of the innocent lives is presented in Slaughterhouse-Five. Ultimately, the work creates a dichotomy between the narrator and protagonist, Billy Pilgrim. It emphasizes the narrator’s value on human life and stresses the importance of compassion and being human. Slaughterhouse-Five elucidates the horrors of war and the stagnation it leaves those involved and fails to offer a way forward, but powerfully relishes in the value of human life and the importance being nonviolent.
Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-Five. New York: Dial. 2009. Print.
Rackstraw, Loree. “The Vonnegut Cosmos.” The North American Review 267.4 (Dec. 1982): 63-67. JSTOR. Web. 25 Sept. 2011.
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