There is a fine line between sanity and insanity, a line that can be crossed or purposefully avoided. The books The Things They Carried and Slaughterhouse-Five both explore the space around this line as their characters confront war. While O’Brien and Vonnegut both use repetition to emphasize acceptance of fate, their characters’ psychological and internal responses to war differ significantly. In The Things They Carried, the narrator and Norman Bowker carry guilt as evidence of sanity. In Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim and the innkeepers carry on with life in order to perpetuate sanity. Both authors develop a distinct theme of responding in the face of the insanity of war.
Oscar Wilde, an acclaimed Irish Poet, novelist, dramatist and critic once aptly commented, “Men become old, but they never become good”. The philosophical aspect of this quote relies on the basis that human beings are inherently malevolent. Through his pessimistic perspective, Wilde clearly captures the ill-disposed mindset of mankind. Moreover, there are various deductive arguments that discredit the optimistic depiction of human nature. One of the prime examples can be found in Kurt Vonnegut’s literature. In Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat's Cradle, through the illustration of his characters, the author symbolizes the four elements of human fallibility.
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”).
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 for everyone to learn of his inquiries
and philosophies. To draw readers into his sphere of influence, Kurt
Vonnegut administers an inflection on the present to state other tenses
Choice and Direction in the Writings of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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.
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.
Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five
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.
Kurt Vonnegut – The Man and His Work
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.
Kafka's work is a reaction to his mental anguish, which is kind of like Vonnegut, who has dealt with the bulk of his personal hardships throughout his career, but those hardships are not his sole motivation.
Slaughter House Five Expaination
Based on Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s book by the same name, Slaughterhouse Five has been described by many as one of the best anti-war novels of the 20th Century.
In Slaughterhouse Five, Billy Pilgrim finds unstuck in time jumping between several periods of his life. From his experience as a prisoner of war in World War II to his suburban family life in the 1950s and 1960s, and his experience as a human specimen in an alien zoo on a distant planet, Billy seemingly has no control over these transitions, many seemingly coming without warning, others may be provoked by events at hand.
As disconcerting as the non-linear format may seem to some viewers, the nature of Billy's jump in time are not nearly as random as they appear.
Dresden and the Destruction of Vonnegut's Dream
The little dream Vonnegut took with him to war was not
founded on the rubble of insanity, absurdity, and irrationality
that he experienced in WWII. His dream was founded on order,
stability, and justice. It was founded on what Dresden
symbolized. And when Dresden evaporated so too did Vonnegut's