Ptsd In Slaughterhouse-Five Essay

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Time is a notion defined by man, dating back 4000 years. It is the most malleable fabrication of the mind. As a result, time is interpreted as memories and flashbacks and happenings. Written by Kurt Vonnegut about his own experiences in World War II, Slaughterhouse-Five distorts the perceived vision of veterans during and after wartime. The novel symbolizes post-traumatic stress disorder and the effect of actions taking place during war. Kurt Vonnegut distorts the novel through his narration and the presence of aliens and the fourth dimension in order to represent the misconceptions of PTSD. By manipulating the order of events in the life of Billy Pilgrim, Vonnegut provides a much more realistic account of PTSD than any nonfiction novel could. …show more content…
Vonnegut plainly achieves a distorted form of time in Slaughterhouse-Five. The sheer abnormality and grandeur of the plot declare the story incapable of being of realistic. A Billy Pilgrim that ages and decides and lives each moment individually does not promote Vonnegut’s purpose. To create awareness for the effects of war and trauma through literature, the protagonist cannot move from introduction to climax to resolution, having along the way changed their character due to a conflict with himself or another. The protagonist must move in a sort of deja-vu-esque loop as Billy Pilgrim does. Kurt Vonnegut does not want to normalize trauma and PTSD, which is why he chooses to distort the organization of the plot and symbolize the disorder with green aliens shaped like toilet plungers. As Vonnegut himself says, “There is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. Everybody is supposed to be dead, to never say anything or want anything ever again. Everything is supposed to be very quiet after a massacre, and it always is, except for the birds.” In a sickeningly pleasant way, like factory-made malt syrup, trauma victims ensure this is not the way life

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