The Destruction Of Dresden On Slaughterhouse Five Essay

The Destruction Of Dresden On Slaughterhouse Five Essay

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when the reliability of its historical descriptions was brought into question. Irving wrote that the bombing killed more than 135,000 people in less than twelve hours, but later research concluded that the bombing killed roughly 25,000, though Irving refused to believe that figure (Evans 1). Further inconsistencies within the book reveal that Irving used German propaganda to estimate his figures (Evans 4). Irving also used misconstrued, unreliable pieces of evidence from a single witness, Hans Voigt, to write elements of the book, instead of gathering accurate information that could create a dependable nonfiction book (Evans 2). The lack of attention to historical accuracy of important details discredits the entire book as a work of nonfiction on a larger scale, leaving the impression of a wholly faulty, deeply flawed piece of literature. The influence of The Destruction of Dresden on Slaughterhouse Five diminishes the dependability of the facts and figures presented in Vonnegut’s novel, impinging on the reliability of Vonnegut as a writer presenting historical information in the nonfiction core of the novel.
Within the novel, there is additional evidence of the effects of trauma on the psyche, as Billy Pilgrim exhibits symptoms of PTSD himself. Vonnegut introduces the science-fiction element of the Tralfamadorians, which green, hand-shaped aliens with one eye, who abduct Billy and bring him to the planet of Tralfamadore, where they put him on display in a zoo and teach him about the nature of time in relation to the fourth-dimension and the unique human experience. Tralfamadorians exist in the past, present, and future at the same time, consequently aware of the outcome of the universe and all events in the universe’s lifetime (S...


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...e bombing. Vonnegut’s outlook on life is similar to Billy’s, as he continues to use Billy as persona for himself. These proven examples of the lasting effect of the trauma of the bombing of Dresden allow the assumption that Vonnegut uses Billy Pilgrim’s character as a way to cope with his personal trauma confirms that the line between author and character is significantly blurred throughout the novel, although sometimes deliberate, as the autobiographical elements of the novel influence and meld with the novel’s equally important fiction elements that help to create an impactful story. However, errors in statistics and factual data mixed with his own PTSD symptoms discredits some of the information Vonnegut presents throughout the novel to portray Billy’s experiences, making Vonnegut a rather unreliable narrator in terms of accuracy of the description of the bombing.

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