Essay PreviewMore ↓
Kurt Vonnegut's War Experiences how it contributes to my understanding of the "Barnhouse Effect"
Kurt Vonnegut’s war experiences had a great impact on his life, which greatly contributes to the readers understanding of the "Barnhouse Effect." His war experiences are reflected quite vividly through his writing of the "Barnhouse Effect." This short story reflects "the human horrors during war, and the de-humanization of modern men and women, and the loss of humane values in a society dedicated to technological progress." (Modern Stories, p. 408)
The Barnhouse Effect is a name that is created by the press. The press came up with this name from Professor Arthur Barnhouse’s character in the "Barnhouse Effect." They call the professor’s phenomenon the barnhouse effect.
Professor Barnhouse, had come up with a different name for his phenomenon. He called it the "Dynamopsychian." "Dynamopsychian means force, and the power of the mind. In the story, the narrator explains, in more detail, how Professor Barnhouse relates his phenomenon to war. "As a weapon, then, Dynamopsychism has an impressive advantage over bacteria and atomic bombs, beyond the fact that it cost nothing to use: it enables the professor to single out critical individuals and objects instead of slaughtering whole populations in the process of maintaining international equilibrium." (p. 410). According to this quotation, Dynamopsychism is a very powerful weapon that only professor Barnhouse had. The professor had thoughts that would flash through his mind before they actually happened. His mind is a powerful weapon, which no one else possessed. In the story, Barnhouse says, "the same thought train had flashed through his mind just before he threw the dice." (p. 411). It was that thought train which aligned the professor’s brain cells into what had become the most powerful weapon on Earth. It began with a simple mental exercise during an army crap game, which soon escalates into a worldwide threat. At least, that’s what the FBI thinks when they raid the Professor’s office and put him under investigation. Professor Barnhouse is asked to use his new power as the ultimate national defense weapon. War hungry generals, Russian spies and the FBI get into the act as Professor Barnhouse shows what the real power of his mind actually is.
How to Cite this Page
"Kurt Vonneguts War Experiences and its Effects on the Barnhouse Effect." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Nov 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- At one point in time, war was beneficial to the United States economy. After World War I and World War II, the United States experienced periods of national prosperity. The economy was booming and patriotism was widespread. However, there were numerous variables in addition to the war that contributed to the economic growth. Presently, it is undeniable that war no longer benefits the United States economy as it once did. Wars are expensive not only financially but also in resources. They are extremely disruptive both on the home front and on the battlefield in labor, resources, and trade.... [tags: short-term effects of war, economy]
1627 words (4.6 pages)
- Review of My Research Wars inflict a lot of damage onto soldiers, both physically and mentally. One of the most well known wars is The Vietnam War. This war negatively impacted the men who fought in the war, because it was very intense during and after the fight. Soldiers that fought in the war, were left with a lot of stressful memories. In addition they were dealt permanent damage to their brain and body parts. The Vietnam War was very gruesome, it involved a lot of very disturbing events such as the massacre of village communities and torture.... [tags: Vietnam War, Posttraumatic stress disorder]
1143 words (3.3 pages)
- When asked how he felt about the deaths of 9 /11, Pablo Sequera , a 22 year old US army soldier in Iraq said "I wanted to bomb the fuck out of every single one of them towel heads". Now fighting in Iraq he says he has grown more sympathy and understanding toward Middle Eastern people. "Actually being up close, watching how they live every day in violence, has given me even more ambition to help them gain freedom" said Sequera. War will always change a person whether it's physically or mentally, a soldier never leaves the way he came in.... [tags: War Cause Effect Iraq]
1318 words (3.8 pages)
- • The effect of the world war two. World War II profoundly affected the Unified States. Albeit no fights happened on the American territory, the war influenced all periods of American life. It required exceptional endeavors to organize system and strategies with different individuals from the Great Partnership and after that to dive into fight against the Pivot powers—Germany, Italy, and Japan. In the meantime, it requested a fantastic generation push to give the materials important to battle. As the Unified States delivered the weapons of war and got to be, in President Franklin D.... [tags: World War II, Cold War, United States]
1289 words (3.7 pages)
- After the Vietnam War, soldiers suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder in countless numbers. The trauma they saw, endured, and witnessed forever changed and scared their lives. Men, like Tim O'Brien the author of the novel The Things They Carried, suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder and it took them years to regain their lives after their return home. In the excerpt from his novel, O'Brien shows the reader how the men endured this mind-altering experience in the jungles of Vietnam through the details of all the items the men carry.... [tags: Vietnam War Essays]
1232 words (3.5 pages)
- Vonnegut's Changing Women What follows is an argument to the effect that, in the novels written before 1973, Vonnegut's female characters generally are presented negatively, either as pro-authority anti-individualists or as helpless or male-manipulated victims who never "grow" in either a personal or literary sense. In addition I maintain that, in at least two of Vonnegut's later novels, certain female characters exercise individuality in their own existences and effect positively the awareness and attitudes of male characters.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
2560 words (7.3 pages)
- The Effects of World War II on Kurt Vonnegut's Writing February 13, 1945: Dresden, Germany. War is raging across Europe. In a deep underground meat locker beneath Schlacthof-Funf, Slaughterhouse Five, 100 American prisoners and their six German guards feel the Earth move as Royal Air Force bombers lay wreckage to the city above. They can only hear the mass terror as the greatest slaughter in European history takes place, killing an estimated 135,000 civilians and destroying cathedrals, museums, parks, and even the zoo.... [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]
1245 words (3.6 pages)
- How Kurt Vonneguts Life Efected his Work Kurt Vonnegut Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was born in Indianapolis in 1922. His father was an architect, his mother a noted beauty. Both spoke German, but wouldn’t teach Kurt the language because of all the anti-German sentiment following the first World War. While in high school, Vonnegut edited the school's daily newspaper. He attended Cornell for a little over two years and wrote for the Cornell Daily Sun. In 1942, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. In 1944, his mother committed suicide and he was taken prisoner following the Battle of the Bulge.... [tags: essays papers]
622 words (1.8 pages)
- The Destructive Effects of the Vietnam War The destructive effects of the US war in Vietnam encompass not only a body count, but also the festering intellectual wound of a war that could not be satisfactorily explained away. The battles of Vietnam, in particular, seemed an affront to conventional understandings of ‘American culture’, military power, the limits of technology, the very possibility to control, and the causes of wartime atrocity. This deeply unsettling part of the Vietnam experiences the US endured revolve, at least to a degree, around the division between the inside and outside.... [tags: Vietnam War Essays]
4141 words (11.8 pages)
- Media Effects of the Vietnam War War is truly a horrific event that unfortunately occurs in our world frequently. There are a variety of ethical questions surrounding war, such as how much should citizens know about the fighting. When it comes to reporting the news, it is the goal of the network to report the news first. The benefit to this is people will turn to them first when it comes to breaking stories. However if the news is delivered based on speed and not accuracy this can be harmful to society.... [tags: Media Vietnam War]
1447 words (4.1 pages)
Moreover, the horrors of war are greatly expressed in Vonnegut’s writings. The bombing of Dresden had a profound impact on the life and written work of Kurt Vonnegut. Word war II shaped many of Kurt Vonnegut’s philosophies that appear in his novels, especially Slaughterhouse Five. What made the Dresden bombing even more horrible to Vonnegut was that as a prisoner, he was ironically protected from the bombs and fire. "Planes from his country did the bombing, and he was the perpetrator, observer and target all at the same time. (Goldsmith ix)."
Vonnegut’s views on human nature were also greatly affected by war. "There is shock and outrage over the havoc and destruction that man is capable of wreaking in the name of what he labels a worthy cause." (Schatt 84). He believes that war strips away individuality; it turns people into machines that merely obey orders and kill, which the military of course thinks is wonderful. He believed that there is considerable room for change. Vonnegut states "And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, and how much was mine to keep". (Vanderewrken p. 414). This example states how much potential there is. A humanist at heart, Vonnegut believed that man is basically good and can overcome his violent and cruel streak inside.
In addition, there is another philosophy that is created from Vonnegut’s experiences from war. This experience is a caution against unchecked science and technology. As world war II ended, the people of the world saw devestating effects that had science created. For the first time in history, possibly since Ancient Greece, the value of science was being questioned. People were not so sure anymore that science was always such a good thing, and Vonnegut is one of the leading questioners. He states, "I am the enemy of all technological progress that threatens mankind." (Nuwer p.39). "As a humanitarian, he repeatedly demonstrates the human aptitude for cruelty, and shows how technology magnifies this cruelty beyond control." (Beetz 3398). According to these examples, Vonnegut is not content to excuse bombing. He told his sons "they are not under any circumstances to take part in massacres, and that news of massacre machinery." (Schall pg.17). These statements illustrate Vonnegut’s views on the potential evil impact that can be brought on by the union of man and machine.
Vonnegut’s war experiences has a great contribution in his writing, "The Barnhouse Effect." In the Barnhouse Effect, his writing is greatly influenced by his experiences. Learning about Vonnegut’s war experiences, allows a greater understanding of the Barnhouse Effect. Vonnegut is an author with a unique perspective on life. He can see things more vividly in a humane manner in his interpretation of the world around him. The core of this story examines the corruption of humanity. His experiences helped to shape what Vonnegut writes in the Barnhouse Effect. In this story, the brilliant professor seeks to restore a measure of sanity. Vonneguts stories often include at least one character who is aware and sane in his or her surrounding madness, just like the professor in the Barnhouse Effect.
Beetz, Ddavid. The Novels of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. New York: Warner Books, 1973.
Giannone, Richard. Vonnegut. Port Washington: Kennikat Press, 1977.
Goldsmith, David. Kurt Vonnegut: Fantasist of Fire and Ice. Bowling Green: Bowling Green Press, 1972.
Harris, Richard. "Kurt Vonnegut." Survey of Contemorary Literature. Vol.10. Salem: Salem Press, 1972
Huber, Chris. VonnegutWeb. 21 Mar 1999
Klinkowitz, Jerome. The Vonnegut Statement. New York: Delacorte Press, 1973.
Nuwer, Richard. "Kurt Vonnegut and WWII". Contemporary Literary Critism. Vol.60. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1990.
Reed, Peter. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. New York: Warner Books, 1972.
Schatt, Stanley. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1976.
Vanderwerken, Joseph. "Slaughterhouse Five." Beacham’s Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction. Vol.5. Washington: Beacham Press, 1996.
Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse Five. New York: Seymore Lawerence, 1969.
Vonnegut, Kurt. "Report on the Barnhouse Effect." Modern Stories In English, 1991.