Satire In Slaughterhouse Five

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Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five serves to be a metaphorically rich memoir hidden behind the fictional story of Billy Pilgrim who is “stuck in time”. This unhinging of time contributes to the ways Billy copes with the unimaginable mass destruction and belligerence he witnesses in Dresden during World War II. Vonnegut’s use of satire and obvious anti-war sentiment furnishes the hostility towards the dismal Vietnam War, causing audiences to question the militarism of the United States at this time and for many to agree with his pacifist views. The ultimate unjust bombing of Dresden in 1945 is repeated throughout history with the Allied bombing raids on Tokyo and Hiroshima and later, the attacks on civilians in Vietnam. The now famous “so it …show more content…

His coping mechanism, the Tralfamadorians, can be seen as an interjection into the science-fiction realm or simply the workings of a great imagination in a man who so desperately needs to escape his reality. Either way, Vonnegut succeeds in using this fantasy in order to prove the necessity of war practices and the lasting impacts it has on those who contributed and those who witnessed it. Furthermore, the Tralfamadorians fourth dimension serves as imperative means for Billy to rationalize the death he has been subjected to witnessing and experiencing. His life, which has been filled with limitations of free-will, such as when his father throws him into the pool at the YMCA in order to learn how to swim and his resentment for being rescued as he prefers to stay at the bottom of the pool causes him to be the perfect candidate to be accepting of death. Vonnegut’s utilization of the Tralfamadorians in order to discuss this philosophical question of free will and their acceptance of the inevitability of death shows how humans, though they believe them to be the leaders of their lives, may ultimately be in the hands of fate as Billy, thrown into wartime with insufficient training or supplies and

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