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Slaughterhouse Five Essays

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To be considered classic literature, a text must be of outstanding quality in the time it was written and be first of its class, of lasting worth or have timeless qualities. Although writing style is forever evolving, a classic can always be appreciated for its construction and artistic qualities. The very best of classics form the literary canon, a group of literary works considered to be the most important of a time period or place. When a work is canonised,...
3 Pages 1395 Words
The New Historicist literary lens allows for critical analysis of literature among the American canon. In particular, Louis Montrose’s theory explores historical and cultural context in order to better understand a piece of literature. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, serves as a cryptic piece of Postmodern literature that can benefit from such analysis. The depiction of the novel's central character, Billy Pilgrim, is heavily deduced from the real-life experiences of the author. Billy Pilgrim utilizes a variety of tools, such as...
3 Pages 1289 Words
In the novel, ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ by Kurt Vonnegut to emphasize the horrific effects war can have on the health of a person internally and externally. When going through tough times Billy Pilgrim in the novel demonstrates these characteristics on how he has been affected mentally from the war. War can affect the mental state of an individual in ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ by the way he acts in certain scenarios in the novel. How people around him are thinking he is “broken” and his...
2 Pages 1049 Words
Throughout the novel ‘Slaughterhouse Five’, Kurt Vonnegut uses the phrase “so it goes”. At times used tragically, at other times absurdly, this phrase, repeated more than 100 times, comes to represent the occurrence of death in the novel. As the phrase follows every mention of death, it conveys a sense of fatalism during wartime. The idea of death is strongly connected to this statement and the constant repetition of the phrase makes readers question the meaning of death and the...
2 Pages 870 Words
In Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’, we see how the use of motifs is used to demonstrate the devastating effect that the war has. It is revealed throughout the novel using the motifs ‘so it goes’, ‘poo-tee-weet’, and ‘mustard gas and roses’. From early on in the novel all the way to the end, ‘so it goes’ is brought up whenever there is a mention of death. ‘So it goes’ simply means life goes on but in the story, it has been...
1 Page 528 Words
During times of hot gun shells soldiers experience terrifying activities that are mentally and physically harming to the body. Most cannot begin to comprehend the extreme events that happen due to their lack of military experience. In Kurt Vonnegut's ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’, Billy Pilgrim the main character, serving as a solider of the United States in World War II. Billy is a chaplain's assistant and who doesn’t engage in any activity, allowing him to oversee the war instead of actually fighting. Billy’s...
3 Pages 1360 Words
Introduction to Tralfamadorian Philosophy Philosophy of life is an informal concept that varies in meaning among differing societies as well as the individuals within them. In Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse Five’, fictional World War II soldier Billy Pilgrim is allegedly abducted by aliens and taken to the planet Tralfamadore where he subsequently learns about Tralfamadorian life philosophy while being held captive. This alien concept interests both Billy and Vonnegut greatly, and both men strive to incorporate it into their lives; however,...
6 Pages 2531 Words
The finest example of satirical literature and science fiction, was written 1969 by Kurt Vonnegut ‘Slaughterhouse Five’. The book becomes Vonnegut’s way to release traumatic experiences during World War II and protest against it. He subtitles the book ‘The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death’, to demonstrate many of the soldiers inexperience and little knowledge of the war, and the reality of it. However, Vonnegut does not relate his experience in World War II as a biography. He decides to...
1 Page 626 Words
Describe the way Time is used in the novel. What might the author be saying about the way people conceive of time? In Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut displays two types of time, Tralfamadorian time, and Human time. At the beginning of the novel, Tralfamadorian time appears far superior to human time, with the ability to relive any moment of your life like a movie and seemingly never die. As the novel progresses, through Billy’s storytelling, the reader starts to realize that...
2 Pages 725 Words
The abhorrence of mankind and their society, projected in Slaughterhouse-Five, written by Kurt Vonnegut, once a prisoner of war, revolves around the firebombing at Dresden, during World War II. The tone of Vonnegut’s black humor creates a subtle disguise as light-hearted mockery on a horrific and sore subject of war throughout Slaughterhouse-Five. The pessimistic outlook seen in Slaughterhouse-Five, showcases Vonnegut’s personal bitterness on society, and the devastating effects of war/violence, which society fails to acknowledge the extent of damage. Slaughterhouse-Five...
3 Pages 1244 Words
As a soldier in World War II, the author Kurt Vonnegut experienced the bombing of Dresden, Germany, in 1945, while being held in that city as a POW. This one experience seemed to affect Vonnegut significantly during his entire life, as he would return to this topic, writing about it on more than one occasion. His most direct account of this event appears in an undated essay entitled “Wailing Shall Be in All Streets,” in which he vividly describes the...
7 Pages 3127 Words
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