Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

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Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five comments largely on the destructive nature of war. Our childlike protagonist Billy Pilgrim was essentially robbed of his innocence due to his drafting into the military. My first thoughts on this novel were about how Billy’s story extends to other soldiers and victims of war. The breaking of men and women’s’ ability to cope with the world extends far past the case of Billy. This is not just an isolated incident, it occurs much more often than most people care to realize. This book also draws particular attention to the use of “children” in war and how inhumane it is. Slaughterhouse-Five analyzes under close scrutiny, the appalling nature of societies and their governments who allow such atrocities to continue. …show more content…
The first time that Vonnegut breaks the fourth wall is in the first chapter. Much of the important information regarding the context of this novel is spelled out for us here. In the first line we are told that “(everything) happened more or less.” This line let’s us know that some of the details of the novel are complete fiction. As readers it is up to us to decipher which parts of the story are true and which are works of fiction. Other instances of this breaking of the fourth wall are on page 125 in the scene with the latrine and on page 148 where Dresden is likened to the fictional city of Oz. In both of these scenes, we have Vonnegut making his presence in Billy’s story known. I believe the importance of this insertion is far more important than most people realize. It serves to pull the reader outside of the walls of Billy’s life and reinsert them into another person’s perspective. That is, to make the reader realize that the suffering imposed on Billy is more encompassing than Billy by himself. Moving on to the O’Hare’s, we have the important exchange between Mary and Vonnegut. Through this conversation, Vonnegut makes his promise to not create a book thought would glamorize war and we are given background information on the second title of this book,

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