Vonnegut’s distinct style conveys that the horrors of war are not only tragic, but inexplicable and absurd. His use of black humor, such as Billy's attempts to publicize his encounters with the Tralfamadorians, conveys the incongruity/senselessness of war (“Slaughterhouse-Five” 267). While this is an example of black humor in a larger plot element, the device can also be used in small details. This is evident in the description of the half-crazed Billy Pilgrim after the Battle of the Bulge. “Wind and cold and violent exercise had turned his face crimson” causing Billy to be designated by Vonnegut as a “filthy flamingo” (Vonnegut 42). By utilizing black humor, Vonnegut is able to convey not merely the tragedy, but also the absurdity, of an event.
Vonnegut’s uniqueness of style includes not only the descriptions of events but their arrangement as well. The narrator tells his friend that “It is so short and jumbled and jangled Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre” (Vonnegut 24). Starting du...
... middle of paper ...
...d. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 254. Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning, 2008. 287-89. Literature Criticism Online. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.
Niose, David A. “Kurt Vonnegut Saw Humanism as a Way to Build a Better World.” Humanism 67.4 (2007): 22. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 254. Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning, 2008. 372. Literature Criticism Online. Web. 20 Apr. 2014.
“Slaughterhouse-Five.” Novels for Students. Ed. Diane Telgen and Kevin Hile. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 258-77. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
Vanderwerken, David L. “Pilgrim’s Dilemma: Slaughterhouse-Five.” Research Studies 42.3 (1974): 147-52. Rpt. in Novels for Students. Ed. Diane Telgen and Kevin Hile. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 274-77. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 1 May 2014.
Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-Five. New York: Dial, 1969. Print.
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