Reed, Peter J. and Marc Leeds eds. The Vonnegut Chronicles: Interviews and Essays. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996.
Meeter, Glenn. "Vonnegut's Formal and Moral Otherworldliness: Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five," in Jerome Klinkowitz & John Somer (eds.), The Vonnegut Statement. USA: Delacourte Press/ Seymour Lawrence, 1973, 204-220.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was an ordinary man, a great father and an extraordinary writer. He was born in indianapolis Indiana. As a fourth generation German-American, he would later serve in the Second World War. He had the capability to include spaceships,vulgarity, and childish characteristics while still causing his readers to learn crucial life lessons. Yet the most interesting thing is what was behind his curtain. It is what captivated, intrigued, and how he analyzed the Midwestern region that would eventually differentiate him from other authors. Kurt Vonnegut was inspired by technological advances, the effects of WWII, and humanity.
Kurt Vonnegut Served as a sensitive cell in the organism of American Society during the 1960's. His work alerted the public about the absurdity of modern warfare and an increasingly mechanized and impersonal society in which humans were essentially worthless and degenerated. The satirical tone and sardonic humor allowed people to read his works and laugh at their own misfortune.
Kurt Vonnegut’s fictional novel “Cat’s Cradle”, indirectly explores issues that parallels into topics such as religion, scientific/technological advancements, political power and much more. Vonnegut’s novel is narrated by a character named Jonah (John). He, Jonah, sets out to write an anthropological book based off of what key people were doing on the day that the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Throughout Vonnegut’s novel it can clearly represents how a writer can become a very destructive person to society. As for this novel, it shows through the uses of parallels that a writer can become a very destructive person to society, these parallels are reflects to real world issues throughout his novel to show this claim, that a writer too can be a destructive person to society.
Vonnegut's writing style throughout the novel is very flip, light, and sarcastic. The narrator's observations and the events occurring during the novel reflect a dark view of humanity which can only be mocked by humor. At the beginning of the novel the narrator is researching for a book he is writing. The book was to be about the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and the lives of the people who created the bomb. The narrator travels through the plot of the story, with characters flying in and out, in almost a daze. He is involved in events which are helplessly beyond his control, but which are inevitably leading to a destination at the end.
The Doctrines of Kurt Vonnegut
The writing of Kurt Vonnegut exhibits perception without
restriction and imagination without limitation. It surpasses mountains of
ignorance and rivers of innocence to extend emotions for society to
sympathize with reality. He incorporates his knowledge and view-points
into a variety of literary genres
Kurt Vonnegut’s background had an endless influence upon his writing. In his early years, Vonnegut was a private in the 106th infantry division in World War II. He and five scouts were caught behind enemy lines, and then captured. They were held POWs and were beaten on various occasions. In 1945, they witnessed the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany. Kept during this time in a slaughterhouse, this is part of the inspiration for Slaughterhouse-five. After being released from the Slaughterhouse, Vonnegut called Dresden “utter destruction” and “carnage unfathomable”. This distressing time in his life led to one of the many themes of Slaughterhouse-five which is that nothing good can come from war and a massacre. This theme is expressed in the story when Billy Pilgrim says “Birds were talking. One bird said to Billy Pilgrim ’Poo-tee-weet?’” After the bombing, the POWs had to gather the bodies for a mass grave and then all the remains were set on fire. Vonnegut and the other prisoners were only there for a few more months, until they were rescued. The lasting effect this awful war caused Vonnegut had significant affect upon his writing; on return to the U.S., he was awarded a purple heart.
Kurt Vonnegut is one of the greatest pacifist writers in the world, although criticized by many he still tries to get his message across to the public. Kurt Vonnegut has written many novels in his lifetime the most well known is Slaughterhouse Five, which tells of his experiences somewhat in World War Two. Throughout all his novels he seems to keep the same “recurring Vonnegut theme is the evil that occurs when technology is allowed by man to run rampant. I am the enemy of all technological progress that threatens mankind.”(Saturday Evening Post, May/June 86 pg. 38)
Satire in American literature has evolved in response to the development of the American mind, its increasing use of free will, and the context that surrounds this notion. Satire is the biting wit that authors (labeled satirists) bring to their literature to expose and mock the follies of society. Satirists can be divided, however, into two groups with very different purposes. One type mocks simply for the enjoyment of mocking. These satirists are found almost everywhere in the world, on every street corner, household, and television sitcom. It is the second type of satirist who is a strong force in the world of literature. The satirical author will mock to heighten the reader's awareness of the problems that threaten to destroy the world that they believe has so much potential. They do this with the hope that their satire will encourage others to better society. "I have often hoped that the arts could be wonderfully useful in times of trouble" (32) says the writer who is perhaps the king of this second type of American satire, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Vonnegut uses his literature to help guide a disillusioned America, in which free will has been fundamental since the writing of the Constitution. As a humanist, Vonnegut uses the idea of free will as a constant motif in his writing. He believes that every soul has the freedom to do anything, but that the problem with society is that people lack direction. Free will, used as a theme in Timequake, is an enormous responsibility. Acknowledging the free will that one has also involves accepting the responsibility that is necessary to use this privilege in a way that will benefit humanity. In several essay...
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. is a contemporary American author whose works have been described by Richard Giannone as "comic masks covering the tragic farce that is our contemporary life" (Draper, 3784). Vonnegut's life has had a number of significant influences on his works. Influences from his personal philosophy, his life and experiences, and his family are evident elements in his works. Among his "comic masks" are three novels: Cat's Cradle, The Sirens of Titan, and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Throughout these novels, elements such as attitude, detail, narrative technique, setting, and theme can be viewed with more understanding when related to certain aspects of his life. These correlations are best examined in terms of each influence.
Kurt Vonnegut was born November 11, 1922 in Indianapolis Indiana. His parents were Kurt Vonnegut Sr. and Edith Leiber. He graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis where he was editor of the school newspaper. After graduation in 1940, he moved on to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where he took classes for biochemistry. In 1942, he enlisted in the army as an Infantry Battalion Scout. Later he was trained by Carnegie Institute and University of Tennessee to become a mechanical engineer. In 1944, Kurt’s mother committed suicide on May 14. He returns home briefly, then was captured in the Battle of the Bulge. While working in a factory in Dresden, Germany, Vonnegut picked up his materials for Slaughterhouse Five. After this he married Jane Mary Cox on September 1, 1945. Working as a police reporter, he studied Anthropology at the University of Chicago, but his thesis was rejected. In 1947, his son Mark was born, later, in 1949 his daughter Edith. He then became a publicist for General Electric in Schenectady, New York, but in 1950 he quit GE, and moved to Cape Cod to write. He published Player Piano in 1952. His third child, Nanette was born in 1954. Between 1954 and 1956 he taught English at Hopefield school, worked for an ad agency, and opened the very first Saab dealership in the great United States. Next, Kurt was rocked with a number of close deaths. His father passed away in 1957 on October 1, his sister and his brother-in-law die in 1958. He then adopted his three oldest nieces and nephews. Kurt still found time to write and Cat’s Cradle was published in 1962. From 1965 to 1967, he took up a residency at University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop and published Pearls Before Swine. Vonnegut wanted a closer look in Dresden before he wrote the novel Slaughterhouse Five, to he went back to Dresden on a Guggenheim Fellowship. He finished the novel in 1969. His education was furthered after he taught creative writing at Harvard and received his master’s degree from University of Chicago for Cat’s Cradle.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut is an American novelist from Indianapolis, Indiana, born in 1922. A very important part of his life was when he served in WWII where he was taken as a prisoner of war. Vonnegut was captured by the Germans on December 14, 1944 in the Battle of the Bulge (Biography). He was kept in Dresden with other POWs to work in a syrup factory. When Dresden was bombed on February 13, 1945, he survived while hiding in a cellar of a slaughterhouse where the POWs were living. Vonnegut was finally able to come home in May of 1945. He discusses his struggle to write about his experiences of at the beginning of his novel Slaughterhouse-Five and was unable to publish the book until 1969.
“Kurt Vonnegut is a writer whose works, when read closely, ultimately warn against the dangerous ideas that exist within science fiction,” (Simpson, 262). Kurt Vonnegut is an eccentric writer who uses his medium, and dark sense of humour to construct meaning that transcends far beyond just the plot. In Breakfast of Champions Vonnegut creates a satirical novel, that revolves around the meeting of two main characters and the journey that leads up to their encounter. The first character, Kilgore Trout, is an old cynical science fiction writer who lives by himself with his pet parakeet in New York. Despite writing countless novels and short stories he remains unknown to the general population. One of his only readers Eliot Rosewater, a wealthy