Analysis Of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

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A twenty-two year old prisoner of war emerges from the slaughterhouse where he works to see a formerly beautiful city reduced to nothing but rubble and embers. This man would go on to remove close to 30,000 corpses before seeing them incinerated. This experience would go on to haunt and plague Kurt Vonnegut for years on end. His experience of this event led him to write Slaughterhouse-Five, the story of Billy Pilgrim, who was also an American soldier who experienced the firebombing of Dresden and lived to tell about it. By drawing parallels between himself and Billy Pilgrim, providing philosophies and points of view, and recalling wartime events from WWII in the wake of a new war, Kurt Vonnegut brings many new concepts to the hypothetical table in the novel Slaughterhouse-Five. A biographical background can help readers understand the context of the novel. Kurt Vonnegut, born on November 11, 1922, is “considered one of the most influential American novelists of the twentieth century” (“Kurt,” Biography.com). Vonnegut enlisted in the U.S Army, serving in the European theater of WWII. After the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, he was captured by the Germans and taken to Dresden, roughly a month before it was firebombed. Vonnegut only survived because he was in an underground meat locker at the time of the attack. (“Kurt,” Biography.com). After the war, he knew he wanted to write about this experience that so few others could ever experience. Vonnegut soon realized that if

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