Kurt Vonnegut, the pessimistic optimist Essay

673 Words Aug 8th, 2014 3 Pages
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Essay Sample: Page 2
Vonnegut is the first to admit (2) that he makes his living by being impolite. He goes on to say that he may not be the most intelligent or stable person around, though it's not necessarily his fault, because other people have put the things in his head that don't fit together nicely, that are useless and ugly, and are out of proportion (5).



Above all else, Kurt Vonnegut is a pacifist, and his

pacifistic views are the major theme of Slaughterhouse-Five. They

form a definite undercurrent in the other three novels that are

under study as well.



Through the mouth of Kilgore Trout, Vonnegut states his

opinion on what the human race deserves, and what we deserve is

to die horribly, since we have behaved so cruelly and wastefully

on a planet that is so sweet (BC 18). Vonnegut has already

established at this juncture that the chief weapon of the sea

pirates "was their capacity to astonish. Nobody else could

believe, until it was much too late, how heartless and greedy

they were" (BC 12). Thus, it comes as no surprise that Vonnegut

believes we deserve to die horribly.



Possibly the best insight he lends is that we are actually

de-evolving, that we were at our best when we were innocent great

apes with a limited means for doing mischief (36). He repeats

this view a few pages later when he states that a lovely thing to

be on this planet is an idiot, better even than being highly

intelligent,
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