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The Impact Of Science Fiction in Our Life: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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The Impact Of Science Fiction
Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five brilliantly illustrates how being in combat traumatically affects soldiers in time of war. Indeed, the author uses science fiction and the creative use of time travel as a mold to bring about his true feelings towards war, thus making Slaughterhouse-Five a quintessential anti-war book. Vonnegut’s usage of science fiction creates an outlet to the planet of Tralfamadore where Billy is able to escape his mental damage from war.
The author, Kurt Vonnegut, saw much battle in his days of combat. He begins, not as Billy Pilgrim, but as Kurt Vonnegut, explaining his personal war experiences. He writes in first person to give the reader a primary source of what it was like to be a soldier at war. He experiences the horrific bombings at Dresden, “of which 135,000 people died—more people, Vonnegut tells us, than died in Hiroshima or Nagasaki” (Cacicedo). Vonnegut, who becomes a Prisoner Of War, is extremely traumatized due to what he saw during World War Two. Vonnegut, as well as being a POW, was forced to shovel out the dead corpses of his fellow soldiers. Vonnegut thinks back to his time on the front lines as well as his post-war life, thus creating his seminal alter ego, Billy Pilgrim who is used to escape Vonnegut’s reality. “He constantly relives his war experiences...” (Williams) through Billy. He uses this source of fiction to escape his emotions relating to this evil timespan of war. Exceedingly, Vonnegut explains in further detail the horrors of war, “his escapism and fatalistic philosophy do not protect him from the memories of the horrors” (Williams). Due to all of Vonnegut’s hardships it was not easy for him to write all of his thoughts down on paper. ...

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...e continues to fight the world he hates. With his new friendship of science fiction Billy finds that the, “morphine paradise of Tralfamadore,” (Broer) makes it much easier for him to live in the real world. As time moves on and Billy focuses more on escaping his own mindless thoughts, he gains the courage to leave the hospital. Although Billy continues to travel through time, he slowly breaks away from the damage that war has caused him.
Both Kurt Vonnegut and Billy Pilgrim have to deal with their post-war traumas. Slaughterhouse-Five is a primary source of how science fiction can be used in order to escape the outside world, and ultimately propel past these horrific obstacles. Just as Kurt Vonnegut found a way to deal with his post traumatic stress disorder, so too do many war veterans, as they do what they must to free themselves from their gruesome memories.
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