Slaughterhouse Five Literary Analysis

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Introduction “No art is possible without a dance with death.” (as cited in Slaughterhouse - Five, 1969, p. 21) “Slaughterhouse – Five” by Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead” are two works of literature that seem to have nothing in parallel. “Slaughterhouse-Five” is based on the author’s own experiences as a prisoner of war, whereas “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead” is derived from the story of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. One might ask what connections can be made when an American classic is compared to a British modern dramatic play. However, after examining the two literary works closely, one discovers that there are striking similarities and common elements between the two writings. With that said, “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead” correspond in some ways and it is the readers’ tasks to uncover the meaning of each work as the story unfolds.

Background information on “Slaughterhouse – Five” The 1960s is a turbulent period in American history. In that decade, the United States was socially and politically unstable. The country underwent the civil rights movement for American blacks as well as the women’s rights movement. It also was involved in the costly and unfavorable Vietnam War. (GradeSaver, n.d.) While the oppositions to the war in Vietnam and other social and political turmoil were happening, Kurt Vonnegut’s published “Slaughterhouse-Five” in the year 1969. Kurt himself was involved
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