Slaughterhouse Five Literary Analysis

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In the anti-war novels, Slaughterhouse - five by Kurt Vonnegut and Catch 22 by Joseph Heller there are many motifs and symbols that at first do not appear to be related but if we scratch under the surface, we are able to find striking similarities. Both novels are dealing with the man’s experience through World War II with one being a soldier and the other one being a fighter pilot. They are both known as the anti-war heroes as they disagree with the idea of war and do not possess both the will and the ability to fiercely fight for their respective country and possibly sacrifice their life for it. Neither of this men is our ordinary, more often than not, American war hero that fights, kills and conquers for the glory of his nation. Both Vonnegut…show more content…
Vonnegut presents this idea through the eyes of the main character, Billy Pilgrim, but also through Trafalmadorians, alien society who kidnapped Billy and while in holding him in captivity stated that humans, or Earthlings, as they call them, are the only species in the known world that believe in something which they call free will. Moreover, the theme in Catch - 22 is similar, although it is presented in a different way. In a world where war rages between the Allies and the Nazis, there is another, more important battle occurring in the book; that one of Yossarian, a far more personal battle. In the midst of it there is a catch, a paradox, an infinite loop from which he cannot escape no matter how much he tried and as such leaving his life in the hands of destiny. The paradox is best described in the book when Yossarian states: You don't have to fly anymore missions if you're crazy, but you have to ask first and if you ask than you're not crazy because anyone that wants to get out of combat is not crazy (Heller, 46). The simplicity and the irony of the “catch” is what it makes it

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