Kurt Vonnegut 's Slaughterhouse Five Essay

Kurt Vonnegut 's Slaughterhouse Five Essay

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War in itself can affect many people in many different ways, wives take on twice the responsibility, and mothers mourn the loss of their child’s innocence. At the time of this novel there had been no research on what happens when you return from war. Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse-Five touches on how it is to deal with this mental illness before it was diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder. The author uses science fiction’s raw intensity to alter Billy Pilgrim’s imagination after he returns from the war. As he is a victim of this undiagnosed mental illness, he uses science fiction’s effect on him as a coping mechanism. Through the experiences of Billy Pilgrim, Kurt Vonnegut explores the powerful impact science fiction had on a vulnerable war veteran’s mental state, making him more susceptible to escape to an imaginary place.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, captures Billy Pilgrim’s years during World War II, his life after the war, and his time spent on the planet of Tralfamadore. As a young infantryman for the U.S. Army in World War II, Nazi soldiers capture and take Billy prisoner in Dresden, Germany. The subject matter of Slaughterhouse-Five deals with the bombing in Dresden and with all this destruction, Billy approaches the meaning of life and death. Upon returning from the war, the tremendously advanced Tralfamadorians abduct Billy and take him to their planet. He is capable of traveling through his lifetime in nonlinear order and enduring events in his life numerous times. The time travel helps to tell the story of Billy Pilgrim in broad scenes in his life and to get deeper in Billy’s head. The encounter Billy Pilgrim has with the Tralfamadorians is a fabrication of his tormented mind. Billy construed a whole ...


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.... Some of the works of Kilgore Trout resemble very closely to what Billy is going through, in terms of the Tralfamadorians and use of the fourth dimension, they can be compared to the place most people who suffer from PTSD go to in their mind in order to escape reality. Trout’s novels that simulate components of Billy’s life are: The Big Board where two humans come in contact with extraterrestrials, the mysterious zoo novel in where extraterrestrials kidnap humans for their own observance, and The Gutless Wonder where a robot raids the air with bombs as an act of dehumanization. Three different types of interaction with humans and aliens, meaning that Billy possibly sees his struggle with PTSD as a metaphor for dealing something irrational such as non-human like beings. The time he was reading those novels, Billy had no idea how they would affect him in the long run.

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