The, By And Antigone By Kurt Vonnegut Jr, And `` Antigone `` Essay

The, By And Antigone By Kurt Vonnegut Jr, And `` Antigone `` Essay

Length: 829 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The natural drive to remain alive is exhibited by all living things. It is the very foundation of human nature, and it seems every effort is made to preserve life. However, occasionally an individual will knowingly and confidently walk to their own death. Sacrificial rebellion is a phenomenon well illustrated in the works "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, and "Antigone" by the philosopher and poet Sophocles. Why is it that the characters Harrison and Antigone willing to die for their ideals or values? Self-sacrifice is often the modus operandi of those who wish to cause a productive social upheaval, the idea being that if they can cause enough of a shock to society that it will lead to a substantial change within that society. This sacrifice demonstrates to the public that the injustice faced is so great, that it transcends the value of a single life. Although both Harrison and Antigone lose their lives in protest of the law, the way each of them chose to protest is very different from one another, and their motives for resorting to such a severe form of protest are distinct from each other, as well.
Foremost, the distinction of each character 's motives are that Antigone 's derive from a personal injustice, while Harrison 's motives stem from his disillusionment with the societal hierarchy, and his concern for all those within that society. In Antigone 's case, the decree that her brother Polyneices was to be posthumously dishonored by being denied a burial and left as carrion for scavengers was a personal transgression against her family. This is why Antigone is quick to ask her sister Ismene to support her cause. The personal nature of Antigone 's vendetta can be gleaned when she tells Ismene, "He is my brother. And he...


... middle of paper ...


...y in defence of their own morality. The acts of rebellion depicted by each character encourage the reader to defend their principles no matter how severe the consequences are for doing so. By becoming a martyr for her beliefs, Antigone claims her unjust death will be imprinted in the memories of everyone when she prays to her Gods, "You will remember what things I suffer, and at what men 's hands, because I would not transgress the laws of heaven" (Sophocles 1020). Contrarily, Harrison 's brief moment of victorious celebration is immediately forgotten even by his own parents the moment it is terminated, leaving little doubt that Harrison 's bravery failed to shake anyone from their adherence to authority or their illusory equality. In the end, Antigone was able to achieve her goal despite her death, whereas Harrison died before he could bring his vision to fruition.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut Essay

- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is an anti-war historical fiction novel about the bombings of Dresden, Germany in 1945 at the end of World War II. Slaughterhouse-Five succeeds as a historical fiction novel because it is fictional and imaginative but also set in the past, rooted in factual information about that time period and the events that took place in Dresden. Much of the historical information in Slaughterhouse-Five is considered eye-witness information because the novel is semi-autobiographical because Kurt Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden and he also survived the fire bombings....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut]

Better Essays
1232 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut

- Slaughterhouse-Five, written by Kurt Vonnegut, is an anti-war book about the firebombing of Dresden, which the author witnessed in World War II. In the book, the reader is introduced with the main character Billy Pilgrim, who seems to have come "unstuck in time," rendering him the ability to travel or relive the past, present, and future (Vonnegut). Billy learns later on, from an alien race named the Tralfamadorians, that all time exists simultaneously. Vonnegut begins the book, however, with anecdotes from when he was just starting to write the book and how writing it led him to develop new ideas on war....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut]

Better Essays
2023 words (5.8 pages)

Essay on Slaughterhouse Five, By Kurt Vonnegut

- Most novels are not able to adequately present two distinct themes that oppose each other; Slaughterhouse-Five is not most novels. It is unique in almost every way, especially with respect to its themes. In Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut develops, to the surprise of the reader, the themes of both the necessity of the concept of free will and its illusion. While these themes seem to contradict each other, they are also complimentary. Kurt Vonnegut’s unique writing style enables the reader to perceive both of these themes in the text....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut]

Better Essays
1867 words (5.3 pages)

Slaughterhouse 5 By Kurt Vonnegut Essay

- When I read Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut I was not quiet sure how I was going to be able to complete a paper on the book. Slaughterhouse 5 was a very intense and emotional book. I was not sure how I was going to explain how I felt about the book with full emotion without giving a summary on it. I felt stuck until you came to class and read us a paper that you are very proud of. At first when you read it I was not sure how your paper related to a book then once you finished reading your paper it hit me, I then knew what I was going to write this paper about in order to talk about Slaughterhouse 5....   [tags: Family, Grandparent, Kurt Vonnegut]

Better Essays
1334 words (3.8 pages)

Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
1304 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

- 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]

Better Essays
1602 words (4.6 pages)

Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut Essay

- One of my favorite books is Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and I think that it is an excellent example of finding order in disorder. Vonnegut uses the main character, Billy, and the Tralfamadorians’ sense of time, to find order in the chaos that was the bombing of Dresden. Vonnegut has given me a new outlook on my life heading into the future and has helped me to find order in the chaos that is life’s misfortunes. Vonnegut starts off the book by saying “I thought it would be easy for me to write about the destruction of Dresden.” This is important because Vonnegut is acknowledging that he can’t just write about what happened to him during Dresden because “There is nothing intelligent t...   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Death]

Better Essays
1077 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Kurt Vonnegut - The Man and His Work

- Kurt Vonnegut – The Man and His Work One of the best, most valuable aspects of reading multiple works by the same author is getting to know the author as a person. People don't identify with Gregor Samsa; they identify with Kafka. Witness the love exhibited by the many fans of Hemingway, a love for both the texts and the drama of the man. It's like that for me with Kurt Vonnegut, but it strikes me that he pulls it off in an entirely different way. Kafka's work is a reaction to his mental anguish, which is kind of like Vonnegut, who has dealt with the bulk of his personal hardships throughout his career, but those hardships are not his sole motivation....   [tags: Kurt Vonnegut]

Free Essays
5175 words (14.8 pages)

Kurt Vonnegut as Social Critic Essay

- Kurt Vonnegut as Social Critic          Those who write on the human condition are often philosophers who write with convoluted language that few can understand. Kurt Vonnegut, however, focuses on the same questions, and provides his own personal answers with as much depth as that of the must educated philosopher. He avoids stilted language typical of philosophers, using shorter sentences, less complex vocabulary, humorous tangents, and outrageous stories to get his point across. With this style, Vonnegut presents the age-old question "How do we as humans live in this world?" in a manner appealing and understandable to the less educated mass....   [tags: Works of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.]

Better Essays
2390 words (6.8 pages)

Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle Essay

- Paradoxical Nature of Life Exposed in Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle Kurt Vonnegut's apocalyptic novel, Cat's Cradle, might well be called an intricate network of paradox and irony. It is with such irony and paradox that Vonnegut himself describes his work as "poisoning minds with humanity...to encourage them to make a better world" (The Vonnegut Statement 107). In Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut does not tie his co-mingled plots into easy to digest bites as the short chapter structure of his story implies....   [tags: Kurt Vonnegut Cat's Cradle Essays]

Free Essays
424 words (1.2 pages)