Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

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Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five is perhaps one of the author’s crowning achievements. Despite the book’s wonderfully unorthodox storyline, interesting characters, Vonnegut’s inimitable brand of humor, and a powerful moral perspective on one of the many atrocities committed during the course of the second World War, it is difficult to classify the novel into any particular genre. The aspects of historical fiction and war drama collide drastically with a major science fiction twist, as well as autobiographical material from Vonnegut’s own life. The book begins with an autobiographical chapter in which Vonnegut speaks about his own difficulty in writing the book. After years of trying to find a place to start, he travels to Pennsylvania to meet with his old friend from the war, Bernard V. O’Hare. O’Hare’s wife, Mary, becomes very upset with Vonnegut for, from her perspective, not portraying the soldiers in an accurate way. She says to him “You’ll pretend you were men…show more content…
The relationships between Billy Pilgrim and the other American soldiers, English prisoners of war, and German troops is a factual setting, fictional events depiction of the life of a World War II soldier. Billy Pilgrim encounters the crass and immoral Roland Weary, who eventually died of gangrene. So it goes. (Vonnegut, 33, 80) Pilgrim also meets the Indianapolis high school teacher, Edgar Derby, whose death is repeatedly foretold. Most times when Edgar Derby is mentioned, Vonnegut reminds us that he is executed in Dresden by a firing squad for stealing only a teapot from the ruins of the city. So it goes. (Vonnegut, 83) Another American soldier Pilgrim interacts with is Paul Lazarro, a car thief. Roland Weary blames Billy Pilgrim for his death, despite it being his own stupid fault, and Lazzaro promises to avenge Weary. Many years after the war, Billy Pilgrim is executed by a sniper hired by Lazarro. So it goes. (Vonnegut, 84,
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