Slaughterhouse Five Postmodern Analysis

1189 Words5 Pages
How did Kurt Vonnegut use postmodern approaches to create an antiwar antinovel in Slaughterhouse 5? When Slaughterhouse 5 was published, it could have been considered as an outsider in the literary world. In the midst of the Vietnam war, it was preaching antiwar notions, and in a time where straightforward linear storylines dominated the media, Slaughterhouse 5 presented a challenging nonlinear plot. The nonlinearity in plots would later on become a staple of postmodern literature but Kurt Vonnegut missed the peak of the postmodern era publishing the novel in 1969; a decade before the peak in the 1980's. Even so, the novel rose to popularity and became critically acclaimed. However, it was bound to be criticised due to it's fairly blunt…show more content…
He travelled through time, experiencing his life in a non linear manner, going as far as calmly undergoing his death, before being transported back in time to the rest of his life. In the author's words Billy Pilgrim wasn't a time traveller, "Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time". The idea of Pilgrim being unstuck in time was introduced early on in the second chapter, setting up the premise for the rest of the novel. The use of 'unstuck' suggests that Pilgrim has been stuck unwillingly beforehand and since he is being unstuck, he has become free. This allows Vonnegut to use time as his own tool, and ignore the the restrictions that come with following a chronological timeline found in the majority of other novels. Vonnegut follows this up with "Billy is spastic in time, has no control over where he is going next", making it clear that the character isn't time travelling willingly. Due to this, the plot is nonlinear and oftentimes spastic in the way that the life experiences happen. Billy Pilgrim seems to floating around in the world, following wherever the wind takes him. The plot always follows Pilgrim's character and so, wherever the time takes Billy Pilgrim next, the reader is taken on the whimsical path with

More about Slaughterhouse Five Postmodern Analysis

Open Document