Kurt Vonnegut's I Am The Doorway

1480 Words6 Pages
Many authors have written science-fiction stories to warn people about future, including Kurt Vonnegut and Stephen King. Vonnegut has written several science fiction stories using dark humor and irony, for example, the short story, 2BR02B. In this short story, Vonnegut describes a society where there is no death and the population of the United States is stabilized at forty million souls by killing someone for each person born. Mr. Wehling, a soon to be a father of three, discovers the flaws in society as a result of the birth of his children, Mr. Wehling has to find volunteers that will sacrifice themselves for his children. In I am the Doorway, Stephen King uses his style of suspense and horror to warn the audience. The story is about a…show more content…
This encounter brings eyeballs to break out on his fingertips, which can control Arthur, so he attempts to fight back against the aliens. Although both warn the audience, Vonnegut is most effective in using his writing style to warn the audience through the use of dark humor, irony, and allusion to dictatorships of the past.
Vonnegut’s style most effectively warns the audience of a through his inclusion of irony in the exposition. In the exposition, Vonnegut begins with using sarcasm to describe the society, “Everything was perfectly swell. … Death, barring accidents, was an adventure for volunteers. The population of the United States was stabilized at forty-million souls” (Vonnegut, Page 1). Irony is present in the first few lines of the short story as Vonnegut describes the society as perfectly swell, even though people have to kill themselves in order to stabilize the population. Furthermore, Vonnegut suggests that couples who give birth must find volunteers which discourage people from having a child because most
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King uses horror and suspense in the short story, I am the Doorway, “beneath the bandages, my new eyes stared blindly into the darkness the bandages forced on them. They itched.” (King, Page 1). However, King uses his horror and suspense to entertain the reader instead of using his style to warn the reader. King warns the reader to entertain them because as shown by the quote, the horror element is used to have the audience to fear the monster, instead of the dystopian implications that Vonnegut warns about. Overall, Vonnegut is most effective in using his style to warn the audience as a result of his use of figurative language to reveal the dystopian elements of the society, unlike
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