Archetypes In Slaughterhouse Five

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Throughout Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut intertwines reality and fiction to provide the reader with an anti-war book in a more abstract form. To achieve this abstraction, Kurt Vonnegut utilizes descriptive images, character archetypes, and various themes within the novel. By doing so, he created a unique form of literature that causes the reader to separate reality from falsehood in both their world, and in the world within Vonnegut’s mind.
Vonnegut focuses a lot on the characters and their actions in “Slaughterhouse Five.” Within the novel characters are stripped of their human identity. Soldiers are forced to be naked and bare, and pornography or sexual dialogue plagues the interactions between many of the characters. These individuals are then forced to evolve into a new being, whether that be from a teacher to a soldier, or a porn star to a
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The concept of a hero and villain are not prevalent within the novel, because that would imply a winner or a loser. The narrator, who the reader can assume shares similar ideologies to Vonnegut, explains how he does not believe that war should be glorified nor does it warrant any victors. Instead, Vonnegut focuses his attention on the idea of an outcast or an underdog. In a way every character has these qualities, Billy is made to seem crazy by his daughter, Montana is extremely sexualized, and Weary is damaged and alone. All of these characters are struggling because they are trying to make sense of what they have endured (this concept of soul searching, and going within one’s subconcious is seen metaphorically in the constant appearance of caves). Regardless, the only characters that are able to truly decipher anything are the narrator and the tralfamadorians, or the wise characters. Both of these characters explain essentially that life is what it is, and it will always be; no action or reaction matters because in the end it will
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