Guns Before Butter Literary Analysis

1187 Words 5 Pages
In “Guns Before Butter” Private Kniptash, Private Donnini, and Private Coleman are prisoners of war with Corporal Kleinhans as their German guard. The POWs make a habit out of exchanging and creating recipes together while the corporal scolds them for thinking about food while they are on such low rations (Vonnegut, page 75). The corporal begins to identify with the three men through food and as they slowly bonded over food, the corporal accepts punishment for having Donnini and Kniptash’s recipe books in his pocket. The corporal accepting being stripped down to private shows his virtue of temperance and fortitude since it would have cost himself more regret in the long run to have the POWs punished than to stay humble and kind after bonding …show more content…
When Earl murders a young woman, he assumes he can cover his tracks by slightly hiding the Wednesday newspaper and leaving town for a while. When the newsboy, Mark, revealed that his father, who was terrified of Earl and his ravenous dog, Satan, had made his Wednesday route, the case looked closed that Earl had not murdered the woman since it was believed by the chief of police, Officer Charley, that the father would have never made the trip to Earl’s home. The violence of the murder case brings about a virtue in Mark as he repeatedly vouches for his father and gave his “word of honor” (Vonnegut, page 206). Mark’s word of honor that helped convict Earl for the murder and his father putting aside his lifelong fear of Earl for his son represent faith, justice, and …show more content…
The couple, Henry and Anne, walked through a high-crime park during the night wearing fancy clothes for an Athletic Club dance. As they walked they felt invincible and even discussed topics such as how Anne “wouldn’t mind sleeping on a park bench” because she thought “it would be fun” (Vonnegut, page 222). The couple was approached by a poor man, Karpinsky, who asked them to come to see his mother, but not long after the couple meet the mother and attempt to convince her that her son is successful, police begin kicking in the door to rescue the couple. As the mother dies watching her son being placed in handcuffs, the couple are escorted home by their parents. Henry and Anne both feel remorse for the man and his late mother while their parents offered Karpinsky a job. The couple develop and portray virtues such as charity and justice after meeting Karpinsky while their parents also show charity by offering him a job after the traumatic experience they accidentally

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