Underlying Themes Unveiled In SlaughterhouseFive Essay Research

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Underlying Themes Unveiled In Slaughterhouse-Five Essay, Research Paper Underlying Themes Unveiled in Slaughterhouse-Five Born in 1922, a contemporary novelist named Kurt Vonnegut has achieved great success as a writer in modern society. He got his start in writing during 1948 by contributing his time and efforts to the Shortridge High School student newspaper, the Daily Echo. While attending Cornell University in 1940, Kurt worked on the school?s Daily Sun. He joined the U.S. Army two years later. In 1947, Vonnegut worked for the General Electric Corporation as a research laboratory publicist. This job was obviously not what he wanted to do forever, so he decided to leave and devote his full time to writing in 1950. He published Slaughterhouse-Five in 1969.

Slaughterhouse-Five, also known as The Children?s Crusade, A Duty Dance with Death, deceivingly appears to be a simplistic story after reading the opening chapter. It is a personal novel about the author, Kurt Vonnegut, and his struggles and experiences during World War II and how they impacted his life. Upon reading into the latter chapters of the novel, you can see that the first impression of the book?s content is defunct because cleverly intermittent themes, contrasts, and morals can be identified. Through a simple man named Billy Pilgrim, Vonnegut disguises a lecture against war and an acceptance of death. The story begins with a warning that the novel was hard for Vonnegut to create. ?This one is a failure?, he writes, ?since it was written by a pillar of salt? (Vonnegut

22). In the story, we find that Billy idolizes an unpopular science-fiction writer named Kilgore Trout. Trout?s unpopularity parallels with Vonnegut?s own humble perception of his abilities. Just as Trout does, Vonnegut keeps writing his works even though he feels as though they are failures. Due to his humble nature, he tells the reader from the beginning how the story opens and concludes. This allows the reader to decide whether or not to read the book. Vonnegut also teaches his own religious moral beliefs through his humbleness. One night a spaceship captures Billy and takes him back to their planet Tralfamadore. While Billy is there, they teach him and the reader that war and death are inevitable and should be accepted. They serve as a surrogate God proclaiming that fate is

real, and it cannot be changed. Billy learns from them that when a person dies, they only look as though they are dead, but they are still very much alive in the past. The Tralfamadorians also teach that we should not be proud, a sin associated with the Christian belief. They tell Billy that Earth is just a minute part of the large universe and we should not take ourselves too seriously. He reminds the readers not to think too highly of ourselves as he does through continually humbling his work. Vonnegut teaches that war is stupid and we should just accept that it happens and go on with our lives. His personal views on war issues come out through the Tralfamadorians. The subtitle of the book, The Children?s Crusade, A Duty Dance With Death, accuses soldiers of war being innocent

children that have an obligation, or duty, to go to war, the ?dance of death?. He mentions that the soldiers in Dresden were baby-faced and he rarely ever had to shave. Vonnegut uses Billy Pilgrim to mask himself in order to get his messages across without turning readers away with unentertaining lectures. He attempts to get his readers to accept the fact that death is inevitable and we must not fear the end, for this is the life lesson that he has come to realize for himself. Vonnegut invites readers to open their minds and to view new ways to perceive our own lives through his wit and humor; however, he does not force his own beliefs and ideas. One of the various echoes throughout Slaughterhouse-Five is the prayer ?God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot