In 1945 Kurt Vonnegut witnessed a horrific series of bombings that led to the destruction of the German city of Dresden, where he was taken as a prisoner of war. The controversial fire-storm raid, carried out by bombers of the Royal Air Force and US Air Force, took casualties of up to a quarter million people (Klinkowitz x-xi). As a prisoner of war, Vonnegut was forced to participate as a corpse miner in the city's cleanup process. Upon his return from the Second World War, Vonnegut decided to write a book describing his traumatic war experiences. After twenty years of struggling with research, failing to recall personal experiences, and publishing two novels and countless short stories, Kurt Vonnegut finally published-as what he frequently refers to as-the "book about Dresden." It was titled Slaughterhouse Five or the Children's Crusade: A Duty Dance With Death, or more simply: Slaughterhouse Five. The result of twenty years of work is a biography that has been bizarrely fictionalized by Vonnegut's incorporation of anecdotes about alien abduction and time travel.
Prior to the publication of Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut invented the terminology "Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum," defined as a phenomenon in the universe where matter scatters through space and time, resulting in their simultaneous existence in multiple places and times. Consequently multiple notions-often contradicting each other-can exist and consume the same space. While this strange yet imaginative "space" was conceived in a previous novel, The Sirens of Titan, Vonnegut crafted the structure and progression of Slaughterhouse Five with ...
... middle of paper ...
... Ed. Harold Bloom.
Jones, Peter G. "The End of the Road: Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade" Modern Critical Interpretations Slaughterhouse-Five Ed. Harold Bloom.
Klinkowitz, Jerome. Slaughterhouse-Give Reforming the Novel and the World. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990.
Lundquist, James. Kurt Vonnegut. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1977.
Marvin, Thomas F. Kurt Vonnegut A Critical Companion. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2002.
Sholes, Robert. "Slaughterhouse-Five." New York Times Book Review 6 April 1969, 1, 23.
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. Slaughterhouse-Five. New York: Delacorte Press, 1994.
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. The Sirens of Titan. New York: Dell, 1974.
1 For a technical treatment, please refer to http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/vvc/theory/relativity.html, under the section discussing relativistic properties of the speed of light.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In our book club we discussed “Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children 's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death” a short anti-war novel in which Kurt Vonnegut, the author, presents an important aspect of war through his tragic war experience in Dresden, which killed thousands of Germans mostly civilians, and destroyed one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Vonnegut’s main character, Billy Pilgrim, is used to explore the various themes about life and war. He has became a prisoner of war to show the senseless destruction, pointlessness, and hate of war.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Kilgore Trout]
1432 words (4.1 pages)
- The First Crusade was well known for their main goal for the European Christians to regain the sacred city of Jerusalem. Before the First Crusades became to be, they were knights at first because they had sworn a vow to successfully reach Jerusalem and were granted taking of the cross or the crux that would be with them in the entire journey. In 1095, Alexius sent mail to the pope to request mercenaries to protect them from the Muslim Invaders. That’s when the pope decided to assist Alexius, to regain some lost territory that’s when Pope decided he wanted to send the European knights to Jerusalem.... [tags: First Crusade, Crusades, Jerusalem]
1080 words (3.1 pages)
- Are wars still being fought by children. One could argue “no”, but others will say “yes”. Men go into war everyday, but many are not even fully grown. In Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, he uses some of his own personal experiences to show the realities of war by examples of innocence, masculinity, and humanity through his main character Billy Pilgrim. Billy can supposedly time travel after being kidnapped by aliens from Tralfamadore and uses it to travel to his time in WWII were he experienced the bombing of Dresden and also travels to his past and future where he can visit other moments in his life.... [tags: Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-five, war]
1434 words (4.1 pages)
- The Life of Billy Pilgrim in Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade Marked by two world wars and the anxiety that accompanies humanity's knowledge of the ability to destroy itself, the Twentieth Century has produced literature that attempts to depict the plight of the modern man living in a modern waste land. If this sounds dismal and bleak, it is. And that is precisely why the dark humor of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. shines through our post-modern age. The devastating bombing of Dresden, Germany at the close of World War II is the subject of Vonnegut's most highly acclaimed work, Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five Essays]
2034 words (5.8 pages)
- In 1095, Pope Urban II called the first crusade. Happening between 1096 and 1099, the first crusade was both a military expedition and a mass movement of people with the simple goal of reclaiming the Holy Lands taken by the Muslims in their conquests of the Levant. The crusade ended with the capture of Jerusalem in July 1099. However, there has been much debate about whether the First Crusade can be considered an ‘armed pilgrimage’ or whether it has to be considered as a holy war. This view is complicated due to the ways in which the Crusade was presented and how the penitential nature of it changed throughout the course of the Crusade.... [tags: Crusades, First Crusade, Alexios I Komnenos]
1510 words (4.3 pages)
- To understand thought experiments the various ideas surrounding the philosophical method must be understood. The connection between the related concepts of logical possibility, causal possibility and conceivability are among the basics which create the foundation for determining the creation and interpretation of a hypothesis that is being analyzed within a thought experiment. Logical possibility is an occurrence that can be present itself so long as the event does not infringe upon the laws of logic.... [tags: Related Concepts, Steps, Hypothesis]
1014 words (2.9 pages)
- How has Slaughterhouse Five borrowed from other texts to emphasize the theme of war. The novel Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut is a narrative about a man named Billy Pilgrim. Billy participates in World War II and the novel follows his life and focuses on his reaction to the war and his travels to an extraterrestrial planet called Tralfamadore. Many speculate that this book reflects Vonnegut’s feelings about war and have drawn parallels between Vonnegut and Billy Pilgrim. Kurt Vonnegut has the characters read various texts throughout Slaughterhouse Five to emphasize his feelings about war.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Kilgore Trout]
807 words (2.3 pages)
- Analysis of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five Section One- Introduction Slaughterhouse-Five, written by Kurt Vonnegut Junior, was published in 1968 after twenty-three years of internal anguish. The novel was a "progressive work" after Vonnegut returned from World War II. Why did it take twenty-three years for Kurt Vonnegut to write this novel. The answer lies within the book and within the man himself. Kurt Vonnegut served in the Armed Forces during World War II and was captured during The Battle of the Bulge.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five Essays]
2383 words (6.8 pages)
- The Theme of Time in Slaughterhouse-Five Many writers in history have written science fiction novels and had great success with them, but only a few have been as enduring over time as Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. Slaughterhouse-Five is a personal novel which draws upon Vonnegut's experience's as a scout in World War Two, his capture and becoming a prisoner of war, and his witnessing of the fire bombing of Dresden in February of 1945 (the greatest man-caused massacre in history). The novel is about the life and times of a World War Two veteran named Billy Pilgrim.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five Essays]
1071 words (3.1 pages)
- The Themes of Slaughterhouse-Five The moral of "Slaughterhouse-Five" is whatever you want it to be. That is the beauty of the book. However, in his typically dark, sarcastic way, Kurt Vonnegut gives us several possible themes to explore. One of the themes relates to the way in which Mr. Vonnegut presents the human life span. Through his writing, Mr. Vonnegut poses an ancient question: Are we masters of our destiny, or are we simply pawns of fate. The medium through which Mr. Vonnegut presents this riddle is death.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five Essays]
910 words (2.6 pages)
- Baz Luhrman´s Version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
- Plot Line Revealed in Act 1 of Shakespeare’s As You Like It
- A Comparison of Corrupt Kings in Shakespeare's Henry IV and Richard II
- The Character Falstaff in Shakespeare's Henry IV
- Marcus Brutus as a Tragic Hero in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
- The Character Elbow in Shakespeare's Play, Measure for Measure