Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr

analytical Essay
1401 words
1401 words

Slaughterhouse-Five: Why War Should Never Happen
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., a World War II veteran and author of the literary masterpiece Slaughterhouse-Five, was one of the many there to witness the destruction of the city of Dresden located in Germany, and one of the few to survive to tell the gruesome details. Most of his writing was used to encourage those with anti-war mindsets to take a stand, and to inform everyone else of the damage that is done when a nation goes to war. He uses his books to remind people that war is gruesome, gory, and violent, and the glamorous aspect of it is simply a disturbed part of one’s imagination that truly does not exist. He reminds people of the visceral hatred that comes with the package of war; of how Germans used the fat of dead Jews to make soap and candles and how there was a scarce food supply for prisoners during the second World War, or possibly any war for that matter. The fire-bombing of Dresden lead to the unnecessary deaths of over 60,000 civilians and prisoners of war (POW’s). Homes, lives, and much more were destroyed and the damage was almost unfathomable. The POW’s that survived the disaster were ordered to stay behind and remove the dead bodies. Because there were so many of them and the stench was so putrid, most of the bodies were cremated by the soldiers and left exactly where they lay in a pile of ashes. Such a scene seems painful for Vonnegut to look back on and he demonstrates his distaste for such things as war with his novels, especially Slaughterhouse-Five. Kurt Vonnegut used the story of Slaughterhouse-Five to explain the after effects of war, why a nation should never go to war, and what such violence will ultimately lead to.
Vonnegut discusses several different themes an...

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...n the process. And the final quote to sum this all up about where war is leading everyone is, "'But do you have a peaceful planet?'...'Today we do. On other days we have wars as horrible as any you've ever seen or read about. There isn't anything we can do about them, so we simply don't look at them. We ignore them. We spend eternity looking at pleasant moments'" (150). What Vonnegut is saying in this quote if applied to earth and modern warfare, is that as a nation, everyone tends to look the other way and always will which will lead to everyone’s demise.
Although there are many different messages that Vonnegut discusses in his novel Slaughterhouse-Five, these are the main three. This is clearly an anti-war book that has opened the eyes of many by explaining that war isn't a joke, but rather something that should be taken very seriously and avoided at all costs.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how kurt vonnegut jr., a world war ii veteran and author of the literary masterpiece slaughterhouse-five, used his books to remind people that war is gruesome, gory, and violent.
  • Analyzes how vonnegut discusses various themes and topics in his novel slaughterhouse-five, but the biggest topic he focuses on is the after effects of war.
  • Analyzes how billy pilgrim has come unstuck in time and gone to sleep a senile.
  • Narrates how he has gone back through that door to come out another one in 1941.
  • Narrates how he has seen his birth and death many times.
  • Analyzes how the time travel aspect of the novel is simply a metaphor of how billy pilgrim is struggling with letting go of his past.
  • Analyzes how vonnegut's novel slaughterhouse-five informs the reader of why a nation should never go to war.
  • Analyzes how vonnegut's quote, "the colonel coughed, and then he said to billy, 'you one of my boys?'" reinforces the fact that most of the so-called "men" fighting the war were actually children.
  • Analyzes how vonnegut conveys the message of where the violence of war will eventually lead any nation.
  • Analyzes how vonnegut's slaughterhouse-five is an anti-war book that has opened the eyes of many by explaining that war isn't a joke, but something that should be taken seriously.

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