Irony In Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

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In order to finish his Dresden novel, Vonnegut for more than 23 years searched for a new point of view to convey the horror that took place in Dresden and the war in general he even went further breaking the conventional mode of narration to fit his story.

Even though Dresden bombing happened more than twenty years before Vonnegut wrote the book, the fact that 23 years have passed after the war was over doesn’t minimize the difficulties of those who experienced it, recalling such traumatic expediencies it was like bringing it back so Vonnegut found an adequate way to describe it in literature searing irony, humor, satire and mocker.

We notice the presence of irony from the beginning of the first chapter when Vonnegut describes to his friend
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On the other hand, Billy gets away with keeping a diamond.

It is worth considering the fact that Vonnegut finished Slaughterhouse-Five more than twenty years after the war was over so we should not forget the fact that Vonnegut always writes from the survivor’s point of view, many years away from the fury of the war and he has the accommodation to laugh, to satirize, ironies with war and all the laughter has to be a step away from madness of the war.

As a result of making the death of Edgar Derby as the climax of the novel, Vonnegut doesn’t minimize the destruction of Dresden but he succeeded to reveal the injustices of the war by showing the fate of only one individual in the war. Vonnegut shifts the attention of readers through irony from the destruction of whole city and the death of ten thousands to the execution of an American soldier Edgar Derby for picking up a teapot out of ruins:

Derby’s crime is so minuscule in comparison with the larger crime of destroying an undefended city that if death is the proper punishment for his actions, what punishment should be given to those responsible for burning Dresden? rightly asks Tom Hearron
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