Criticism Of Kurt Vonnegut

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Kurt Vonnegut was born on November 11th 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana. His parents, Kurt Vonnegut Sr. and Edith Leiber Vonnegut were hit particularly hard by the great depression and his family was financially unstable for most of his childhood. Vonnegut studied at Cornell University, where he double majored in chemistry and biology. Shortly after graduation, Vonnegut enlisted in the United States Army and was deployed to Germany once America entered World War II. Around this time, Vonnegut’s mother committed suicide. Vonnegut was deeply traumatized by the event and never truly forgave his mother during his lifetime. In 1944, he was captured by Nazi troops and placed in a prisoner of war camp in Dresden, Germany. Vonnegut was a survivor of…show more content…
He acknowledges this in the preface to Slaughterhouse-Five. In it, he writes that it seems impractical to write an anti-war novel because of how inevitable they are. However, as Rachael McCoppin points out “Many of his novels still impart an anti-war message” (47). In the preface, Vonnegut goes on to reinforce the idea that even though war may be unavoidable, everyone is still responsible for their own actions (McCoppin…show more content…
Robert T. Tally Jr. uses the phrase “misanthropic humanism” to describe Vonnegut’s examination of the human condition. The term “misanthropic humanism” describes the idea that humanity’s desire for a utopia which is hindered by human nature’s flaws which prevent a true utopian society from flourishing. Vonnegut often explores the idea that humanity turns a utopian dream into a dystopian nightmare (Tally Jr. 18). Vonnegut writes about this theme most prominently in his novel Player Piano, in which human life is rendered meaningless because of manmade machines that bring about an era of mechanical reproduction which renders human life meaningless. In the novel, Humanity’s quest for improvement leads to its downfall
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