When traveling from place to place in time and to those horrible memories of the Dresden bombing, Billy accepts and acknowledges the war trauma. For the first time, he exposes emotion of sadness. The epigraph “ The cattle are lowing, The baby awakes,/but little lord Jesus/ no crying he make,” Portrays’ how Billy does not show off his pain but cries in silence similarly to baby Jesus from this epitaph. When older in age and after recovering from the Vermont plane crash, he decides to go to New York and “ gets [got] on an all-night radio program devoted to talk. He tells [told] about have come unstuck in time,” (25).
A twenty-two year old prisoner of war emerges from the slaughterhouse where he works to see a formerly beautiful city reduced to nothing but rubble and embers. This man would go on to remove close to 30,000 corpses before seeing them incinerated. This experience would go on to haunt and plague Kurt Vonnegut for years on end. His experience of this event led him to write Slaughterhouse-Five, the story of Billy Pilgrim, who was also an American soldier who experienced the firebombing of Dresden and lived to tell about it. By drawing parallels between himself and Billy Pilgrim, providing philosophies and points of view, and recalling wartime events from WWII in the wake of a new war, Kurt Vonnegut brings many new concepts to the hypothetical table in the novel Slaughterhouse-Five.
His general demeanor is loud, commanding, and abrasive. As is shown when he calls his wife a “rash wanton” and demands “[the] little changeling boy to be [his] henchmen”(Shakespeare 2.1 49,105). Showing a before stage of his coercive nature. He does not let go of grudges easily as is demonstrated by his actions throughout the play. However, for being the most spectacularly unnatural character in the entire play, he has the most natural transformation out of the all the other characters.
Initially, Rodwell may have joined the war with noble intentions, but by the time Robert meets him, he has already began to take note of the dehumanizing nature of war, which begins his long descent into misery. Rodwells initial willingness to see the best in a situation blinds him to the cruelty and misery of warfare. As an illustrator of children’s books, Rodwell is well accustomed to fairy tale stories, but chooses instead to draw in a more realistic manner. He says, “ I should draw that toad, for instance, just as he is without embellishment. In his own right, you know, he has a great deal of character.” This choice indicates that Rodwell is not as naive as one might assume he is.
Simultaneously, the plot of the novel is also driven by Kurt Vonnegut’s own experiences in Dresden, Germany, which, as mentioned earlier is what gives the book a semi-autobiographical genre. Slaughterhouse-Five explores the various aspects of war: the negativity of war, the consequences it imposes on those affected by it, and the unfairness of life regarding how we are forced into things we don’t desire, only to then we grow old and die at the end of it all. In spite of
The way of thinking war like a game is also seen in ‘Why Men Love War’: ‘’War is a brutal, deadly game, but a game, the best there is. And men love games’’ , so James matches this quotation particularly well. However, this reckless, unserious and flippant attitude change with the passage of time, and the viewer becomes aware that the James-character is exceptionally round and complex. When a boy living near the US-camp tries to sell him DVD’s, James mostly just laughs and teases him, yet under the surface it ap-pears that James actually likes this child. He buys a number of DVD’s and shares his candy.
Wilfred Owen, most famous for his war poetry, used his work to expose the horrors of war and the disastrous results that come from it, as seen in his most famous pieces – ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’,’ Anthem for Doomed Youth’ and ‘Exposure’. Owen’s preface states, “Above all I am not concerned with poetry”. This means it is not the poetry alone that is important to Owen, but the message he is trying to portray and emphasise. Owen more than anything wanted to reveal the truths of war hidden behind false propaganda and was able to achieve this though his poetic capabilities. Owen through his poetry was able to captivate his reader and create visual imagery to heighten the messages he wanted to convey, allowing us comprehend and understand the true horrors occurring on the front.
Disabled and Refugee Blues ‘Disabled’ and ‘Refugee Blues’ are written at different wars but depict the same feeling of emptiness. Both poems are passionate responses to the horrors of war. Owen was a soldier but Auden was a pacifist. Auden went to America but Owen fought for his country. ‘Disabled’ was written during a war but ‘Refugee Blues’ before war.
Then it clicks, a quote spoken by Hitler himself “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”. This skillful use of propaganda has been used all throughout history, and America is no different. Through the skillful use of well-placed words and repeatedly saying the same thing over and over again the American people have become apathetic to the real life struggles of other American people that are minorities. From making a certain race of people the face of an issue, to the making corrupt government individuals seem like heroes and the victim’s criminals. America needs help.
Kurt Vonnegut employs metafiction in writing Slaughterhouse Five, the novel was a fuse of both fact and fiction. Billy, the protagonist, was an unexpected war survivor in the bombing of Dresden and had illusory fantasies to cope with his unspeakable trauma. I am interested in examining how history is represented in metafiction and how mnemonic symbols of traumatic experiences can be redefined in metafiction. Carl Jung’s The Concept of the Collective Conscious leaves me with questions that I would like to examine in the course. One of which is the question of whether a post-war trauma archetype pre-exists and the relationship between remembered memories and collective