Theme Of Heroism In Slaughterhouse Five

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Slaughterhouse-Five;The Disjointed Reality of War and Heroes
Popular western culture glorifies , the image of a prestigious and courageous war hero into the minds of most citizens. This image of a war hero displays masculine and brave qualities and often puts their life on the line for their country. This glorification essentially leads to the popular belief and craving to become just like a ‘war hero’. However, this glamorization is highly inaccurate and distorts the truth of war. Through the usage of Edgar Derby’s, Roland Weary’s and Billy Pilgrim’s characterization, Vonnegut reveals the deception of glorifying the image of a courageous and masculine war hero, despite, the reality of war’s indiscriminate deaths and incompetent soldiers.
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Derby and Weary poses a similar quality in the way that they both want to be perceived as heroes. Although, Derby fits into the hero role because, “ One of the best bodies belonged to the oldest American by far, a high school teacher from Indianapolis. His name was Edgar Derby”(Vonnegut 83). Albeit, Derby’s age he chooses to fight for his country, by pulling strings he had in politics. Derby also proves himself to want to be a hero and stand up for his country, when Derby disagreed with Campbell and, “lumbered up to his feet for what was probably the finest moment of his life.. His stance was that of a punch-drunk fighter.. Derby raised his head called Campbell a snake..Derby spoke movingly of the American form of government, with freedom and justice and opportunities and fair play for all. He said there wasn’t a man there who wouldn’t gladly die for those ideals”(Vonnegut 164). In the moment Derby is almost a hero, at least, “Old Derby was a character now” (Vonnegut 164). Vonnegut purposefully uses Derby as the closest to a hero out of all the characters in the book to cause the reader to sympathize poor old Derby 's death. Likewise to Weary’s death, Derby dies a pitiful and pathetic death undeserving to his character when it is revealed, “Somewhere in there the poor old high school teacher, Edgar Derby, was caught with a teapot he …show more content…
Derby fits the stereotype, Weary tries to fit the stereotype and Billy rejects this stereotype. The reality is that most soldiers are ill prepared and naive towards the mental and physical grievances of war .However, whether or not they seem like a hero, war in discriminates against death and will end someone’s life despite how much of a hero they

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