The Importance Of Postmodernism, By Kurt Vonnegut

1666 Words7 Pages
In a world that has become callous to cruelty and harshness, authors began to develop characters which embodied those who were struggling to cope with growing inhumanity and impassivity. Such authors are as postmodernists. Fragmentation and paradoxes characterize their novels. Within postmodernism, the use of science fiction allows the writer to demonstrate worldviews while avoiding the imposition of perverted casualty upon the subject. One author who has mastered the era of postmodernism is Kurt Vonnegut. Frequently using fantastical elements, Vonnegut created a connection between a time of skepticism and one of faith marked by novelty and youth ("Kurt Vonnegut, Jr."). Also, his writing often contains a pessimistic and satirical tone. These…show more content…
One of these became known as postmodernism. This genre is a direct challenge to many of the modernist themes. For example, the human ability to use reason to address any fundamental truth of physical and social conditions and make them amenable to rational control was central to modernism but disputed within postmodernism (Salberg, Daniel). Marked by silence, deconstruction, antitheses, schizophrenia, and immanence, postmodernism was an intensely emotional response to the events of the World War II period. As a result of tragic experience, the Lost Generation formed. Furthermore, as they aged they began to describe these experiences in novels. A few of the elements that were used to illustrate the author’s beliefs were satire and the theater of the absurd. Kurt Vonnegut was among these…show more content…
Facing an extensive amount of tragedy, Kurt Vonnegut found his place as an influential figure in American literature. In 1943, Vonnegut was transferred to Carnegie Mellon University to study Engineering. This movement took place after he had completed two years of study at Cornell University because he had enlisted in the army near the end of those two years. Having been in the military for only a year, Vonnegut was deployed as one of the soldiers to fight in the Battle of Bulge. During this, he was taken captive. Despite the odds, he survived being a prisoner of war as well as the Dresden Firebombing in 1945 which killed more people than Hiroshima. After the bombing, he was ordered to dig bodies from the rubble and destroy them in huge bonfires. These traumatic years combined with the suicide of his mother on Mother’s Day in 1944 and the loss of his sister to cancer in 1958 took a toll on his emotional state. His writing reflects the effect that these trials had on him. It is not surprising that after writing Slaughterhouse-Five Vonnegut spiraled into a period of depression. During this time, he refused to write any more novels. Instead, he focused on teaching and finishing a play entitled Happy Birthday, Wanda June. Lasting four years, the stage of depression subsided when he wrote his novel Breakfast of Champions. His exposure to the callous side of humanity amplified the effectiveness of his
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