Vonnegut Narrative Techniques In Slaughterhouse-Five Essay

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More than 23 years have passed since the war was over whereas Vonnegut struggle to compile few words into a novel was not over. He already realized that he couldn’t tell his story in the conventional narrative mode and he needed a new approach to describe a situation that goes beyond human comprehension. According to Robert Tally Vonnegut’s critique of ‘old-fashioned storytellers” is really a critique of the mistaken view that life has ‘a beginning, middle and an end.’ That is why Vonnegut objects the storyline of reality by writer, who ought rather to acknowledge that life just happens. Vonnegut even describes in the first chapter how his novel will be structured:

It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent
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Vonnegut’s approach to non-linear narrative technique in Slaughterhouse-Five shows clearly Vonnegut’s struggle to remember his war experiences which is similar like trying to complete a puzzle, he puts pieces of his memory together: one fragment from his childhood, one fragment from war, one from here and there until he completes his novel in non chronological mode. Narrating his novel in non chronological structure is further proof that Vonnegut’s overturns old fashioned storytelling techniques. In a conversation with his publisher Harrison Starr in the first chapter about the futility of writing an antiwar novel, Vonnegut states …show more content…
He was a baby who had just been bathed by his mother. Now his mother wrapped him in a towel, carried him into a rosy room that was filled with sunshine. She unwrapped him, laid him on the tickling towel, powdered him between the legs, joked with him, patted his little jelly belly. Her palm on his little jelly belly made potching sounds.
Billy gurgled and cooed. (84-85)

Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse-Five not only portraits Billy’s life in on non-linear mode he even portrays the world history in non-linear mode, his story jumps back and forth in history from War in Vietnam, World War II, Crusade until the beginning of the human kind to Adam and Eve. Vonnegut shows us how Billy’s life will end but he also shows us how the universe will end. Through Billy and his Dresden story Vonnegut attempted to narrate all the human history.

Unlike novels with a traditional plot structure, Vonnegut with Slaughterhouse-Five doesn’t offer us a novel with a typical plot structure, conflicts between characters that builds to climax and at the end everything sorts out but on the contrary Vonnegut offers us a war story without heroic characters or glorious battles instead he portrays a war story filled with science-fiction elements but at the same time makes it sound as real as possible. In the eighth chapter, Vonnegut declares that his

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