Slaughterhouse Five, Or The Children 's Crusade : A Duty Dance With Death

Slaughterhouse Five, Or The Children 's Crusade : A Duty Dance With Death

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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.
The beginning of this book was somewhat confusing, we all wondered if the book was really the authors trouble of putting the book together that led to its structure or if it was meant to represent something else. We had originally thought the book was going to be about a soldier’s war journey, but were mistaken. Vonnegut’s antiwar feelings create a major theme that emerges in Slaughterhouse Five. While talking to Mary O’Hare in the opening chapter of the novel, he reveals the main intent of this book. Mary refutes with Vonnegut saying, “You’ll pretend you were men instead of babies. And war will look just wonderful, so we’ll have a lot more of them. And they’ll be fought by babies” (14). This shows that she doesn’t like war and how it causes innocent deaths. While bringing up this conversation Vonnegut also sets the tone for the reader because if it wasn’t brought up many would have thought that this book was like many others; based on everything wonderful about war. This also portrays a little background to Vonnegut’s life in which he doesn’t permit his son to go to war or work on machinery that was for war. Vonnegut holds a strong stance against the idea of war and knows that trying to co...


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...ough it all, we were able to gain a new understanding of the book by building off each others ideas. We came to understand several different themes of the story and other things we weren’t aware of when reading it through once. I originally thought the books theme was focused on time because it involved time travel, but after talking it through with my group they were able to help me see the other themes present in the book.
Through this experience there were moments in which we would each have our own perspective on a topic, which was a good thing because we would discuss the topic for a while which helped me with my critical thinking abilities. I also enjoyed it when I would have a different view from the rest of the group because it made me elaborate better when discussing my view of the topic. Our experience with the book as time passed helped us grow closer.

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