Slaughterhouse Five Essay

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Slaughterhouse-Five
     Critics often suggest that Kurt Vonnegut's novels represent a man's desperate, yet, futile search for meaning in a senseless existence. Vonnegut's novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, displays this theme. Kurt Vonnegut uses a narrator, which is different from the main character. He uses this technique for several reasons.
     Kurt Vonnegut introduces Slaughterhouse Five in the first person. In the second chapter, however, this narrator changes to a mere bystander. Vonnegut does this for a specific reason. He wants the reader to realize that the narrator and Billy Pilgrim, the main character, are two different people. In order to do this, Vonnegut places the narrator in
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Through Billy Pilgrim, he is able to indicate his views. Many things which he viewed as senseless acts were very violent. '[The two scouts] had been lying in ambush for the Germans. They had been discovered and shot from behind. Now they were dying in the snow, feeling nothing, turning the snow the color of raspberry sherbet. So it goes.'; The narrator describes what happened and how it occurred. The imagery is very strong. The reader can imagine the snow slowly being dyed with the color of blood. Therefore, readers can picture a slow agonizing death. By ending with the statement, 'So it goes,'; the reader is enticed. The narrator states this when he finds that there is no need to continue describing the horrific brutality. The imagery used in the preceding sentence was strong enough.
     Kurt Vonnegut does not want to glorify war. The narrator made a vow to
O'Hare's wife, in chapter one, that the story would not do this. '...I give my word of honor. I'll call it the children's crusade.'; In order to do this, Vonnegut makes the main character a simple man. His name is Billy Pilgrim. His mission is to avoid anything that requires action or responsibility. This causes him to avoid finding meaning in his life; he regards the world as chaotic. The senseless act of war causes Billy to begin his search. 'Billy is spastic in time, has no control over where he is going

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