Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut Essay

Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut Essay

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In his novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut dips his words in satire and sprinkles them with hidden themes that can only be understood if one takes the necessary steps to seek them out. Upon dissecting these themes, I have come to find Vonnegut’s novel as one that unveils the mediocre reality of how society acts and thinks and offers suggestions on how the it should actually be. Such themes are also found in other pieces of literature, that when compared, evoke a better understanding of Slaughterhouse-Five. Such works of literature are Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical address to a graduating class at Bennington College in 1970, Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If,” and Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “The World Is a Beautiful Place.” These writer’s ideas lie on the same web of themes and Slaughterhouse-Five sits at the center of that web where all the pieces connect and open eyes to the realities of our society.
Vonnegut states in his address to a graduating class at Bennington College in 1970, "only in superstition is there hope,” an allegation that ties into a Cinderella allusion from his book. Considering Vonnegut utilized satire in writing both his speech and the book, it is presumable that he is conveying the opposite message. The book’s protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, is subtly compared to Cinderella due to how he survived the war despite the lack of efforts he made to live. In fact, he wanted to die, but somehow miraculously didn’t. His situation was very similar to Cinderella 's. She conducted no actual efforts of her own to become noticed and loved by Prince Charming. Subsequently, Billy remains cemented in the Cinderella mindset, not making any attempts to change anything, only relying on the possibility of the situation changing on its own...


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... learn to confront the reality of what’s occurring in the world so they can possibly help change it. This is the “bitter coldness” that Vonnegut is disclosing about society and why its ways need to be reformed. The world is a beautiful place, only because people try to amputate the thorns from its rose stem.
Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, targets the issues and faults of society and the world today, stressing the imperativeness of change in its ways. With themes ranging from taking action to invoke a turnaround in one’s life if they are unsatisfied with how it is, understanding that each individual is in control of their own selves and have free will, and facing the disturbing existences in the world instead of being content with ignorance. Vonnegut expounds on society’s desperate need of remaking and enlightenment, and now I can’t see it any other way.

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