Slaughterhouse Five, written by Kurt Vonnegut is an anti war novel told by the narrator who is a minor character in the story. Slaughterhouse-Five is the story of Billy Pilgrim, a man who has come "unstuck in time. "The bombing of Dresden is what destroyed Billy. Dresden’s destruction shows the destruction of people who fought in the war: the all the people who died. Some people, like the main character, Billy Pilgrim, are not able to function normally like before because of what they saw, because of their experience. Throughout the book, Billy starts hallucinating about his experiences with the Tralfamadorians: he wants to escape the world which was destroyed by war, a war that he does not and cannot understand. Vonnegut uses the technique of repetition.. The main repetition is “so it goes” which is told after anything related to death, he also uses other repetitions throughout the book. The major theme of the story is the Destructiveness of War. Vonnegut uses repetition to reinforce the theme of the story.
In 1945 Kurt Vonnegut witnessed a horrific series of bombings that led to the destruction of the German city of Dresden, where he was taken as a prisoner of war. The controversial fire-storm raid, carried out by bombers of the Royal Air Force and US Air Force, took casualties of up to a quarter million people (Klinkowitz x-xi). As a prisoner of war, Vonnegut was forced to participate as a corpse miner in the city's cleanup process. Upon his return from the Second World War, Vonnegut decided to write a book describing his traumatic war experiences. After twenty years of struggling with research, failing to recall personal experiences, and publishing two novels and countless short stories, Kurt Vonnegut finally published-as what he frequently refers to as-the "book about Dresden." It was titled Slaughterhouse Five or the Children's Crusade: A Duty Dance With Death, or more simply: Slaughterhouse Five. The result of twenty years of work is a biography that has been bizarrely fictionalized by Vonnegut's incorporation of anecdotes about alien abduction and time travel.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was captured by the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge and was kept in Dresden, Germany in a meat locker as a prisoner (“Vonnegut”). Vonnegut was an entryman in the battle; after being captured he was forced to mine corpses where people, including his own, were baked alive and tortured (“Vonnegut”). This made an impact on him because he was scarred with the episodes of war that occurred; also, led to the creation of his book, Slaughterhouse Five. The war was announced as “the largest single massacre in European history” and featured firebombings on February 13 and 14, 1945 (Bloom). Twenty years after being saved by the Red’s Army, he wrote Slaughterhouse Five describing his time in the meat locker as a masked character in the book (“Kurt”). He had written the book to help...
Kurt Vonnegut is one of the favorite dark humorists of the past century. Combining humor and poignancy, he has become one of the most respected authors of his generation. For twenty years, Kurt Vonnegut worked on writing his most famous novel ever: Slaughter House Five. The novelist was called "A laughing prophet of doom" by the New York Times, and his novel "a cause for celebration" by the Chicago Sun-Times. However, Vonnegut himself thought it was a failure. He said that, just as Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back, so his book is nothing but a pillar of salt. Kurt Vonnegut tied in personal beliefs, characters, and settings from his life into the novel Slaughter House Five.
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.
Billy is the main Character I already talked about him in last paragraph, so you can just look there for more info on him.
Born on November 11, 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Kurt Vonnegut is viewed as a standout amongst the most powerful American authors of the twentieth century. He was recognized as a writer who mixed sci-fi and humor. Vonnegut made his own remarkable world in each of his books and filled them with peculiar characters, for example, the outsider race known as the Tralfamadorians in Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). In the wake of studying at Cornell University from 1940 to 1942, Kurt Vonnegut enrolled in the U.S. Armed forces (“Kurt Vonnegut”).
Great artists have the ability to step back from society and see the absurd circus that their world has become. Such satirists use their creative work to reveal the comic elements of an absurd world and incite a change in society; examples include Stanley Kubrick’s film, Dr. Strangelove, and Joseph Heller’s novel, Catch-22. Both works rose above their more serious counterparts to capture the critical voice of a generation dissatisfied with a nation of warmongers. Completing this triumvirate of anti-war classics is Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. Infusing his social commentary with science fiction, satire, bizarre characters, and the problem of death, Vonnegut creates one of the most effective arguments against war in the American canon of literature.
Kurt Vonnegut’s anti-war science fiction novel entitled, Slaughter House Five otherwise known as “The Children’s Crusade” or “A Duty Dance with Death,” is a classic example of Vonnegut’s eccentric and moving writing capabilities.Originally published in 1969, Slaughterhouse-Five pays tribute to Vonnegut’s experiences in World War Two, as an advanced scout in the 106th infantry division, a prisoner of war and witness to the firebombing of Dresden on February 13th, 1945 in which 135,000 people were killed, making it the greatest man-caused massacre of all times.This novel illustrates the cruelties and violence of war along with the potential for compassion in human nature and all that it encompasses.
“How nice – to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive” (Vonnegut 50). In Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut introduces the genuine danger war implements on the innocent minds of soldiers by introducing Billy Pilgrim as a prisoner and Dresden bombing survivor. Kurt Vonnegut’s anti-war novel appropriates around a science fiction theme where Billy Pilgrim becomes “unstuck” in time. This allows Billy to experience his life disorderly.
The book Slaughterhouse Five by: Kurt Vonnegut is an anti-war book that has taken place during the years of 1945-1968 in the United States, but the book was originally published in 1969. Through the use of various themes Kurt Vonnegut explores the positive and negative impacts they have on humanity (values/morals/ethics). The exploration on themes also allows for the positive/negative values and morals of people become apparent. The books setting takes place around the timing of 1944–1945 concerns Billy’s army service in Germany and briefly in Luxembourg, where he is captured after the Battle of the Bulge. Most of the rest of Billy’s life takes place in Ilium, New York. He also travels to the planet Tralfamadore and lives there in a zoo. The time frame the novel sets is during the detailed account of Billy’s war experiences in 1944–1945, but it skips around his entire life, from his early childhood in the 1920s to his death in 1976. The author’s narration is set in 1968. The tone that is set by the author which in this case is also the narrator, so the narrator’s tone is familiar and ironic, and he uncovers touches of dark humour and absurdity that do not diminish the lyrical and emotional power of the material. His portrayal of Billy is intimate but hesitant, and he occasionally emphasizes the diction of reported speech (prefacing a passage with “He says that” or “Billy says”) to draw a distinction between reality and Billy’s interpretation of events. Some of the conflicts that arose in the books were that’s Billy had no sense of life as it is today and then to later emphasize a different reality like no other to separate his mind and thoughts on his own point of view of his life and others. One of the problems that arose to him ...
...Slaughterhouse Five, serves as much more than a just a Sci-Fi element in a war novel; it is a portal into the nonsensical and destructive nature of war meant to invite the reader to adopt an active stance against war. The realities of war have long been tainted by history, retailing the brutal events as a saviour’s tale full of honour, glory and patriotism. However, the truth sits far away from the textbooks and scholars. Those who have marched, fought and survived that blood thirsty, chaotic development can testify to its destructiveness. However, the absurdity and trauma causes scars that lay in deep ravines logic cannot reach. Therefore, Vonnegut resources to a parallel planet, as his only means of explaining the unexplainable, in hopes of unveiling war's folly and shake his readers into action so that Earth does not become a planet full of futile toilet plungers.
In Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut tries to make sense of a seemingly meaningless world by creating a novel whose narrative is more a conjunction of events instead of a linear story. Vonnegut beings his novel with a confession about why he wrote this book, he starts, “all this happened more or less” (Vonnegut 1). As a reader it is alarms are signaled when the author themselves makes an omission about the reality of the tale about to be told. He spends the first chapter giving an autobiographical view into what shaped his life and how this book needed to be written. Vonnegut says he thought he would have a lot to say about the bombing in Dresden that “all [he] would have to do would be to report what [he] had seen” (2). But instead “not many words about Dresden came from [his] mind then—not enough of them to make a book, anyway” (2). So here Vonnegut makes it clear this novel is not explicitly an anti-war book but rather an attempt at making sense of how life
Slaughterhouse Five is not a book that should be glanced over and discarded away like a dirty rag. Slaughterhouse Five is a book that should be carefully analyzed and be seen as an inspiration to further improve the well-being of mankind. Vonnegut makes it clear that an easy way to improve mankind is to see war not as a place where legends are born, but rather, an event to be avoided. Intelligent readers and critics alike should recognize Vonnegut’s work and see to it that they make an effort to understand the complexities behind the human condition that lead us to war.
"In Slaughterhouse Five, -- Or the Children's Crusade, Vonnegut delivers a complete treatise on the World War II bombing of Dresden. The main character, Billy Pilgrim, is a very young infantry scout* who is captured in the Battle of the Bulge and quartered in a Dresden slaughterhouse where he and other prisoners are employed in the production of a vitamin supplement for pregnant women. During the February 13, 1945, firebombing by Allied aircraft, the prisoners take shelter in an underground meat locker. When they emerge, the city has been levelled and they are forced to dig corpses out of the rubble. The story of Billy Pilgrim is the story of Kurt Vonnegut who was captured and survived the firestorm in which 135,000 German civilians perished, more than the number of deaths in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Robert Scholes sums up the theme of Slaughterhouse Five in the New York Times Book Review, writing: 'Be kind. Don't hurt. Death is coming for all of us anyway, and it is better to be Lot's wife looking back through salty eyes than the Deity that destroyed those cities of the plain in order to save them.' The reviewer concludes that 'Slaughterhouse Five is an extraordinary success. It is a book we need to read, and to reread.' "The popularity of Slaughterhouse Five is due, in part, to its timeliness; it deals with many issues that were vital to the late sixties: war, ecology, overpopulation, and consumerism. Klinkowitz, writing in Literary Subversions.New American Fiction and the Practice of Criticism, sees larger reasons for the book's success: 'Kurt Vonnegut's fiction of the 1960s is the popular artifact which may be the fairest example of American cultural change. . . . Shunned as distastefully low-brow . . . and insufficiently commercial to suit the exploitative tastes of high-power publishers, Vonnegut's fiction limped along for years on the genuinely democratic basis of family magazine and pulp paperback circulation. Then in the late 1960s, as the culture as a whole exploded, Vonnegut was able to write and publish a novel, Slaughterhouse Five, which so perfectly caught America's transformative mood that its story and structure became best-selling metaphors for the new age. '"Writing in Critique, Wayne D. McGinnis comments that in Slaughterhouse Five, Vonnegut 'avoids framing his story in linear narration, choosing a circular structure.