All The King 's Horses By Kurt Vonnegut Essays

824 Words May 3rd, 2016 4 Pages
After the two World Wars, competition between countries was still going on. The United States and the Soviet, as two most powerful countries at that time, driving the globe politically and economically. In Kurt Vonnegut’s two short stories, “All the King’s Horses” and “Manned Missiles,” both reflected the international backdrop during that period, revealed the brutal fact of war and the human wishes of peace. The story “All the King’s Horses” takes place in the early years of Cold War . The main character is a U.S. Army Colonel names Bryan Kelly, whose plane crash-landed on the Asiatic mainland and survived with his wife, two sons and some enlisted men. All of them are captured by the Communist guerrilla chief Pi Ying. He forced Kelly to play chess using Kelly’s family and men as white pieces. Kelly himself plays as the King. Any pieces that Pi captures will be executed immediately. Pi doesn’t really want to win the game but to kill Kelly’s men as many as possible. One of the move is to sacrifice Kelly’s son. Before Pi gives the order to execute, Pi’s companion kills him and suicides. The other game-watcher, a Russian military officer Barzov takes over for Pi but defeated by Kelly. Barzov suggests playing chess with Kelly involving no one’s life. Kelly rejects and says he will play at a later time. This story was written in 1951 and it reflected the relationship between the United States and the Soviet. Since the Truman doctrine established in 1947, these two countries were…

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