In the novel Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, the reader follows Billy Pilgrim, a man who claims to be "unstuck in time,” through his WWII experiences until the end of his life. The main character, Billy, lacks conventional heroic qualities like most main characters in novels and is portrayed as weaker than others thus rendering him an anti-hero. Billy Pilgrim is an anti-hero because of his physical appearance, lack of courage and motivation, and his mental instability due to war trauma. Billy Pilgrim can be classified as an anti-hero because of his physical appearance, as described by Vonnegut. The first thing the reader notices is how Vonnegut accentuates Billy’s youth by keeping his name as Billy rather than Bill or William.
War is Misery "Billy Pilgrim could not sleep." The "Men marched asleep." War conjures a myriad of images, opinions, experiences and stark realities. Of the many insights about war offered by Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse Five, the most profound is that war is not a grandiose circumstance that some make it out to be. Similarly, in Wilfred Owen 's "Dulce et Decorum Est", the observation of the tragedies of war provokes the reader to understand the lack of glory in war.
For instance, war veterans sometimes cannot view fireworks as it induces fear in them due to the sound of the explosions seeming like gun shots. In Slaughterhouse-Five, author Kurt Vonnegut, a former soldier in World War II, explores the concept of post-traumatic stress disorder by identifying the underlying causes, highlighting the impacts and symptoms of PTSD, and evaluating coping mechanisms. During a time period where post-traumatic stress disorder was still incredibly controversial, Vonnegut utilized the character of Billy Pilgrim to identify the causes of PTSD. The mental disorder can have many causes as explained in the article “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” in which the National Institute of Mental Health states, “Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some experiences, like the sudden unexpected death of a loved one, can also cause PTSD” (National Institute of Mental Health, “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”).
Throughout The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, Henry Fleming makes mistakes and has to relearn what he is capable of. His transgressions include running from a battle, abandoning a dying man, and lying to his comrades. Tim O’Brien defines what a true war story is in his book The Things They Carried, and states that, “A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior…” Although the youth makes many mistakes throughout The Red Badge of Courage, and many immoral acts are portrayed, it is not a true war story according to Tim O’Brien’s definition. To begin with, The Red Badge of Courage does not show an “absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil,” because throughout the novel, good deeds are shown, and Henry finds role models that are ideals of virtue in war.
Perry Smith is the protagonist in the novel, not only due to author’s bias but also due to his sheer dynamic, a man disconnected from word to action. The author portrays Perry Smith as the protagonist of the novel stress that there is no defined line of good and bad, rather a percentage in what is heard versus what is acted upon. There are many views of Perry Smith but the first is the one that imprints in the mind of those who hear it. Perry Smith is a murderer. He, though manipulated by his twisted counterpart Dick, single handedly killed Herb, Bonnie, Nancy, and Kenyon Clutter, without any reason or gain.
There are many similarities between the conflicts in “Lather and Nothing Else” by Hernando Téllez and “The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty. “Lather” is a short story about a barber in the South American revolution who is secretly working as an informer for the revolutionaries and is presented with the opportunity to kill one of his worst enemies, Captain Torres, a leader in the revolution. Although he is only an informer and a barber, he has Captain Torres’ life in his hands and ponders whether to kill or not kill him, but in the ends lets him go unharmed. In “The Sniper”, a Republican sniper is presented with the task to kill a Free Staters sniper in a civil war. When he gets shot, he has to escape by killing the enemy sniper and manages to do so, but notices that the Free Staters sniper that
It should be established before anything else that the author I have chosen, Kurt Vonnegut, was heavily influenced by World War II. The idea of war, along with its devastating effects, gave Vonnegut a rather cynical and twisted view on human nature. This perspective bleeds over onto his writing and can be seen in many of his major and minor works, including one of his most impactful, “Slaughterhouse 5,” in which he uses time travel, alien planets, and other farfetched ideas to describe the physical and emotional consequences of violent acts. Vonnegut’s fatalistic and overly pessimistic view of the future, most likely stems from the very problems created by The World Wars. The mechanization and automation of weaponry caused an emotional disconnect to form that removed the face-to-face contact experienced in previous wars.
His brain was ‘wired’ to kill the enemy and any threat was to be terminated. While reading you will notice that the sniper is a republican, while the barber is a revolutionary. Not only do they have different beliefs but they fight their battles differently. The barber is secretly fighting for his country by being a messenger, telling the revolutionaries about Torres’ rebel attacks. On the other hand, the sniper is openly fighting for his country in the war.
Dumbledore knew all this time Harry would need to be killed by Voldemort at the right time because when Voldemort murdered Harry’s parents part of his soul went into Harry since he was the closest living thing. Harry feels so betrayed. Dumbledore was supposed to be his mentor. He treated him like family. Harry has no idea how to even feel.
Another instance of an illogical death was the death of a high school teacher named Edgar Derby. Derby “pulled political wires” (Vonnegut 38) to initially be allowed to fight, but he was well-suited for the war, and he survived the fighting, getting captured, and the bombing of Dresden. However, after the war ended and some prisoners of war were taking war souvenirs, Derby “was caught with a teapot he had taken from the catacombs. He was arrested for plundering. He was tried and shot” (Vonnegut 95).
The number of innocent victims killed by the bombing is alarming and Vonnegut keeping with his anti war theme made it a point to center his novel around the Dresden bombing which increased knowledge of what the historical city Dresden once was. Vonnegut wanted to “try to write my war story, whether it was interesting or not, and try to make something out of it.” Vonnegut wanted to make a significant point across about the horrors of the war stating several times he is currently writing an anti war novel(******). The main character Billy is broken from the war, which is clearly stated in (*******). Showing what Vonnegut went through through Billy described the Dresden bombing as the worst bombing and experience that any prisoner of war had
In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, the author retells the chilling, and oftentimes gruesome, experiences of the Vietnam war. He utilizes many anecdotes and other rhetorical devices in his stories to paint the image of what war is really like to people who have never experienced it. In the short stories “Spin,” “The Man I Killed,” and “ ,” O’Brien gives reader the perfect understanding of the Vietnam by placing them directly into the war itself. In “Spin,” O’Brien expresses the general theme of war being boring and unpredictable, as well as the soldiers being young and unpredictable. Unlike Henry Dobbins and Norman Bower’s chess games which were predictable and made it easy to see which side was going to win, war was the complete opposite.
Macbeth last quote or stand in the story is when make goes on into the war and goes ham and tries to protect his reputation, but later on meets up with Maduff and fight to the death. Macbeth has finally reached his maximum craziness because he fighting through the army them fighting Macduff causing death to fall upon him. So Macbeth wanted to end this but was mistaken but the crazy king has fallen. So in the beginning Macbeth starts as a hero but after hear the prophecy he starts becoming more and more insane over time but everyone knows bad guys never