Slaughterhouse-Five: A Peace Novel Essay

Slaughterhouse-Five: A Peace Novel Essay

Length: 1434 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

War is a tragic experience that can motivate people to do many things. Many people have been inspired to write stories, poems, or songs about war. Many of these examples tend to reflect feelings against war. Kurt Vonnegut is no different and his experience with war inspired him to write a series of novels starting with Slaughter-House Five. It is a unique novel expressing Vonnegut's feelings about war. These strong feeling can be seen in the similarities between characters, information about the Tralfamadorians, dark humor, and the structure of the novel.
Kurt Vonnegut is an American novelist from Indianapolis, Indiana, born in 1922. A very important part of his life was when he served in WWII where he was taken as a prisoner of war. Vonnegut was captured by the Germans on December 14, 1944 in the Battle of the Bulge (Biography). He was kept in Dresden with other POWs to work in a syrup factory. When Dresden was bombed on February 13, 1945, he survived while hiding in a cellar of a slaughterhouse where the POWs were living. Vonnegut was finally able to come home in May of 1945. He discusses his struggle to write about his experiences of at the beginning of his novel Slaughterhouse-Five and was unable to publish the book until 1969.
Vonnegut created Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist of the story, in order to express his own views about war. One critic mentions that "no characters in contemporary fiction are more traumatized and emotionally damaged than those
of Kurt Vonnegut" (Broer 121). Billy and Vonnegut carry many similarities throughout the novel. Just like Billy, Vonnegut was taken as a POW and witnessed the firebombing of Dresden (Vees-Gulani 175). During Billy's time in Dresden he meets a German guard n...


... middle of paper ...


... "After the Fall: Kurt Vonnegut" Critique Winter 1985: 96-102.
"Biography of Kurt Vonnegut" Classic Notes. 18 April 2005. [www.gradesaver.com/ClassicNotes/Authors/about_kurt_vonnegut.html].
Broer, Lawrence R. Sanity Plea: Schizophrenia in the Novels of Kurt Vonnegut. Rev. ed. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 1994.
Lichtenstein, Jesse and Douthat. "SparkNote on Slaughterhouse-Five." 2 May. 2005 [www.sparknotes.com/lit/slaughter/].
Rasmussen, R. Kent. "A Duty Dance with Death." Library Journal 15 July. 2004: 125.
Vees-Gulani, Susanne. "Diagnosing Billy Pilgrim: A Psychiatric Approach to Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five." Critique Winter 2003: 175-184.
Vit, Marek. "War in Slaughterhouse-Five" Kurt Vonnegut Essay Collection. 17 April 2005 [www.geocities.com/Hollywood/4953/kv_sh5_war.html?20052].
Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-Five. New York: Dell Publishing, 1991.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of The Book ' Slaughterhouse Five ' Essay

- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is quoted saying, “The trouble with me is that I’m an outsider. And that’s a very hard thing to be…” At one point or another everyone has felt like an outsider in his or her life. In the novel Slaughterhouse Five Billy Pilgrim suffers from feeling like an outsider a great deal as he struggles with his PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). From a Marxist Critic’s standpoint a lot of his struggles may also be due to his social and economic class. From being treated like an animal while he was a prisoner of war to coming home and practically being handed more money than he knew what to do with, Billy didn’t know how to cope....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut]

Powerful Essays
755 words (2.2 pages)

Kurt Vonnegut 's Slaughterhouse Five Essay

- In a world that has become callous to cruelty and harshness, authors began to develop characters which embodied those who were struggling to cope with growing inhumanity and impassivity. Such authors are as postmodernists. Fragmentation and paradoxes characterize their novels. Within postmodernism, the use of science fiction allows the writer to demonstrate worldviews while avoiding the imposition of perverted casualty upon the subject. One author who has mastered the era of postmodernism is Kurt Vonnegut....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut]

Powerful Essays
1666 words (4.8 pages)

Slaughterhouse-Five Essay: Three Themes of Slaughterhouse-Five

- The Three Themes of Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut did a great job in writing an irresistible reading novel in which one is not permitted to laugh, and yet still be a sad book without tears. Slaughterhouse-five was copyrighted in 1969 and is a book about the 1945 firebombing in Dresden which had killed 135,000 people. The main character is Billy Pilgrim, a very young infantry scout who is captured in the Battle of the Bulge and quartered to a slaughterhouse where he and other soldiers are held....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five Essays]

Powerful Essays
938 words (2.7 pages)

War in Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller both have a striking resemblance in the themes of anti-war and of free will. Both don’t come into full force right in the beginning but eventually become more evident. Both novels focus on one character throughout the entire novel, and each protagonist is affected by all the events around them. It changes their perspective and how they view life as a whole. Both Billy in Slaughterhouse Five and Yossarian in Catch -22, dislike war and are known as anti-war heroes....   [tags: slaughterhouse-five, kurt vonnegut]

Powerful Essays
1089 words (3.1 pages)

The Use of Fragmentation in Slaughterhouse-Five Essay

- The Use of Fragmentation in Slaughterhouse-Five In the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut uses fragmentation of time, structure and character in order to unify his non-linear narrative. Vonnegut's main character, Billy Pilgrim, travels back and forth in his own life span "paying random visits to all events in between" (SF 23). The result is Billy's life is presented as a series of episodes without any chronological obligations. This mirrors the structure of the novel which has a beginning, middle and end but not in their traditional places....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five Essays]

Free Essays
1478 words (4.2 pages)

Kurt Vonnegut 's Cat 's Cradle And Slaughterhouse Five Essay

- The meaning of religion can be different for everyone; some use it to justify events happening, while others use it to turn people against each other. As Kurt Vonnegut describes tragic events during World War II, unrealistic adventures in space and destructive scientific advances, he shares his unique perspective on life and religion. Although many of his works were set during 20th century, Vonnegut satirically addresses issues that are present in today’s society. Despite efforts to prevent wars, people have not found a solution to do it....   [tags: Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Cold War]

Powerful Essays
1690 words (4.8 pages)

Essay about The Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut

- After I read the “Slaughterhouse-Five” (Kurt Vonnegut, 1969), I found it interesting that the author wrote this satirical novel about World War II experiences using time travel. Even though the time travel makes the story look chaotic and confused, I believe the author had deep meaning about the time travel. Also, the author uses a lot of black humor to critical the war. In our world today, there are still some wars especially in the Middle East. I think that really not good for developing and have much more bad effect for people who live around the war....   [tags: World War II, War, Want, Kurt Vonnegut]

Powerful Essays
1080 words (3.1 pages)

Views on War in Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five Essay

- Views on War in Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five   Many people returned from World War II with disturbing images forever stuck in their heads. Others returned and went crazy due to the many hardships and terrors faced. The protagonist in Slaughter-House Five, Billy Pilgrim, has to deal with some of these things along with many other complications in his life. Slaughter House Five (1968), by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., is an anti-war novel about a man’s life before, after and during the time he spent fighting in World War II....   [tags: Slaughter House Five Essays]

Powerful Essays
1322 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Why Slaughterhouse-Five Is an Anti-War Novel

- Slaughterhouse-Five displays many themes. However, there is a dispute as to whether the book is an anti-war novel or not. Slaughterhouse-Five, the character Kurt Vonnegut explains to Mary O’Hare, is intended to be an anti-war novel, and he says that it shall also be called The Children’s Crusade because of the effect it had on young men who fought in the war. Slaughterhouse-Five is an anti-war novel because Vonnegut, the character, says it is in the first chapter, because it depicts the terrible long-term effects the war has on Billy, and because it exposes war's devastating practices....   [tags: slaughterhouse five, anti war, kurt vunnegut]

Powerful Essays
659 words (1.9 pages)

Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five as an Antiwar Novel Essay

- Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five as an Antiwar Novel War can affect and inspire people to many degrees. Kurt Vonnegut was inspired by war to write Slaughterhouse-Five, which is a unique book referred to sometimes as a science fiction or semi-autobiographical novel. But, if facts are inferred in the novel, like the similarity of Vonnegut to Billy Pilgrim, facts about other characters (specifically the Tralfamadorians), and the themes and structure of the novel, another way of viewing ;this book can be seen that is as an anti war piece of writing....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five Essays]

Free Essays
2286 words (6.5 pages)