Every so often, a person comes along and encompasses the meaning of a generation. This person will capture everything people want to say, and then word it so well that his or her name becomes legendary. The sixties was an era with many of these people, each with his or her own means of reaching the people. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., armed with a typewriter and a motive, was amongst those that defined the sixties. Like other notable figures of the sixties, his strong opinions moved the people. Vonnegut’s opinions cover a wide range of topics and address almost all aspects of society. He represented the flower children of the sixties, as he protested the Vietnam War. After his horror of World War II, it is not surprising that Vonnegut opposed war. He also had a unique philosophy about religion, as well. To him, religion is a term with a much broader implication than just the establishment of the church. Vonnegut also compares himself to dictators, as a servant of the people. Opinions such as these are not only found in the many revealing interviews, such as his interview with Playboy magazine. Kurt Vonnegut goes above and beyond many other writers, as he voices his opinions in the actual text of his novels, such as Player Piano, Cat’s Cradle, and Slaughterhouse-Five.
Kurt Vonnegut’s history has shaped him into the modern day writer that he is now. Kurt, Jr. was born to Kurt, Sr. and Edith Vonnegut on November 11, 1922. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Kurt was the youngest child who was always fighting for attention. Being a youngest child was how he developed his rich and intelligent sense of humor (Ethridge 1-4: 970). ...
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Merrill, Robert. “Kurt Vonnegut as a German American.” The Vonnegut Chronicles. Westport: Greenwood, 1996. 73-83.
Schalt, Stanley. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Boston: Twayne, 1976.
Shenker, Israel. “Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Lights Comic Paths of Despair.” New York Times 21 Mar. 1969, sec 1, 41.
Standlish, David. “Playboy Interview.” Playboy July 1973: 57-60, 62, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 214, 216.
Vonnegut, Kurt. Player Piano. New York: Avon, 1968.
Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-Five or the Children’s Crusade. New York: Dell, 1969.
Ward, Selena. “Sparknotes for Cat’s Cradle for Kurt Vonnegut.” Sparknotes. Online. Internet. Available at http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/catscradle/. 2 Dec 2001.
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