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Critical Anylasis of Slaughterhousefive

Essay by   •  March 31, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,098 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,338 Views

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Critical Analysis # 1

A main issue that World War II raises for writers is how to represent the ultimately inexpressible horrors of that war and, at the same time, engage the reader in a talk that might create the savage indignation. In the novel "Slaughterhouse Five" Vonnegut has shown many themes and metaphorical issues of the time, this includes his participation in WW2 and his capture and imprisonment in the German city of Dresden. Also Vonnegut explores the deep psychological repercussions of "Billy Pilgrim" the average American and how being in the war and the experiences he encounters changes his life forever in the real world. (148). James Lundquist connects that hopelessness to black humor and argues that such humor is, "in effect, an expression of human inadequacy in the face of the complexities of the universe" This is saying how in "Slaughterhouse Five" Vonnegut uses his dark humor whenever someone dies, i think he used this form of writing because in the time of WW2 and his situations death itself cannot bother him In Slaughterhouse-Five, it does not matter whether the universe or the flower dies. In either case, "So it goes." From such a point of view any possibility of savage indignation at the horrors of the world just disappears. I think that Billy Pilgrim is an object of satire and that he is "Indifferent" in a way that in events of those like Dresden, do not morally bother him at all. "Slaughterhouse Five" was written at the peak of the Vietnam War and considered an Anti-war book. I think that Vonnegut wrote this novel in this period because all of the protest and feelings coming out of the Vietnam War were fueling his past experiences from Dresden which ultimately resulted in the writing of "Slaughterhouse Five".

Critical Analysis #2

The "Tralfamadorian's" are a key point in the novel "Slaughterhouse Five" because this shows the passiveness of Billy Pilgrim throughout the book and it is like a fantasy world According to Tony Tanner, Billy "[a]abandons the worried ethical, tragical point of view of Western man and adopts a passive, conscienceless passivity. If anything, he views the world aesthetically" (128) So Billy is fed up with the world that he is living in because it is boring or horrific, he then proceeds to make a world that in his eyes see how things should be done and that the aliens are friendly and proceed to tell him "don't worry, be happy" This is a reflection on what Billy thinks the world should be like and how it works. Throughout this novel Billy goes through a series of time traveling events while he is in WW2 but usually a traumatic event fuels this for instance when he is at "The Battle of the Bulge" he has a flashback of when his father first teaches him how to swim by just throwing him into the deep end of a pool, and Vonnegut says while narrirating "It was like an execution" so time travel has a large connection with future or past events in Billy's life." (4) In effect, Billy Pilgrim is insane, precisely because his time traveling prevents him from coming face to face with the traumatic event around which his whole life has formed itself. Vonnegut gives a good indication of Billy's disease: that he suffers from narcolepsy. Billy thinks that the Tralfamadorian's even know that one of their own kind will one day push a button that will destroy the universe; when Billy asks why they do nothing to prevent that event, his Tralfamadorian guide tells him that it would be impossible to do so, this is showing Billy's insecurity with his own life and how he cannot accept death: "He has always pressed it, and he always will. We always let him and we always will let him. The moment is structured that way" this is an excerpt from one of Billy's trips to Tralfamadore and was said by one of the head Tralfamadorian's. So Billy's sense of time travel is his own perception on life and it is how he escapes the real world.

Critical Analysis #3

The Psychological Analysis of "Slaughterhouse Five" goes quite deep because it is Vonnegut Depicting the life of

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