Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five Essay

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This article demonstrates how Kurt Vonnegut experiments with the narrative structure of his novel Slaughterhouse-Five. The study focuses on Vonnegut’s experimentation which assents to postmodern innovative virtuosity. On the outset of postmodernism, two critical issues have been raised. That is, the literature of exhaustion and the literature of replenishment dominating modern literature. Accordingly, this study explores Vonnegut’s critique of literary exhaustion prevailing modernism’s exhausted literary forms in order to provide them with permanent literary replenishment. Vonnegut accomplishes his critique through manipulating the novel’s plot, narrator, and character’s discourse. It will be argued that Vonnegut mixes real experiences with fictional accounts. For this reason, self-reflexive metafiction being discussed conflates fictional experimental forms with ideological critique which attests to its fictionality in the name of replenishing manipulation. The critique is oftentimes utilized in order to proclaim a literary complex relation which lies between the…show more content…
First, two self-reflexive devices will be examined in the light of Patricia Waugh’s metafictional outline. These devices comprise, 1) a story addressing the specific conventions of story components, like the plots and narrators; 2) and a story which features itself as a physical object. These devices will be applied to the analysis of Slaughterhouse-Five’s cyclical plot. The second objective is to discover the extradiegetic narrative level by applying Gérard Genette’s concept of the focalization factor in order to scrutinize the novel’s narrator. Third, the exploration of the polyphonic discourse of the novel’s characters is going to be pursued by applying Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of the dialogic novel. Together, these three elements epitomize Vonnegut’s narrative experimentation within postmodern

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