Knowing that 2015 marked the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden during the Second World War immediately brought me back to the days which I delved into the book Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut for a course at Peking University, China when I was one of the two chosen students from Macao Polytechnic Institute to study there as an exchange student. It was not long when I was enlightened and became certain of my specialisation in literature－Psychoanalysis. In my preparation of a Master’s degree, I have studied widely around the topic Literature and Psychoanalysis. I hope to examine closely the complexity of the human psyche and its literary presentations and constructions. I am also interested in the analysis of the body and the psyche. I am fortunate to have taken the course Contemporary Chinese and American Fiction in Comparative Perspective at PKU which I was introduced to literature and psychoanalysis. The main characters in the selected readings are all trauma victims. Take, 1986 by Yu Hua, a contemporary Chinese avant-garde writer, for example. The protagonist was a history teacher during the Cultural …show more content…
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
Many actions played out during the Holocaust and World War II were not humane, and still remind us like a scream behind closed doors: hidden but still heard. While hearing the horrid stories and seeing the ghoulish photos of times not to be forgotten, we see the tragedy that is the mistreatment of human lives. Our identities are lost little by little, but those victims had theirs ripped from their bodies. After losing everything and then becoming a nearly empty vessel, it is amazing that we attempt to comprehend the cruelty of the Holocaust. The loss of identity and self might have started with Adolf Hitler’s reign, for the Holocaust legacies, but we are all losing bits of ourselves constantly.
This novel illustrates how different people cope with trauma and how this trauma can shape a person's perspective of themselves and others. The trauma from
In the film American Sniper directed by Clint Eastwood and the novel Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, both works exhibit depiction of war through the protagonist. However, each work is portrayed differently as they each show a representation with opposite depiction of war. While one decides to promote war, the other diminish it. In Eastwood’s adaptation of American Sniper, his insight appears as a promotion for pro-war propaganda, in contrast, Slaughterhouse Five depicts ideas that portray the war in a poor light. American Sniper retells the story of Chris Kyle, a Navy Seal who was reported to have 160 confirmed kills.
The human condition is a very malleable idea that is constantly changing due to the current state of mankind. In the memoir Night by Elie Wiesel, the concept of the human condition is displayed in the worst sense of the concept, during the Holocaust of WWII. During this time, multiple groups of people, most notably European Jews, were persecuted against and sent to horrible hard labor and killing centers such as Auschwitz. In this memoir, Wiesel uses complex figurative language such as similes and metaphors to display the theme that a person’s state as a human, both at a physical and emotional level, can be altered to extreme lengths, and even taken away from them, under the most extreme conditions.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental disease that develops in those who have experienced a scary or dangerous event and it affects an estimated 6.8% of Americans in their lifetime (National Institute of Mental Health, “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”). Post-traumatic stress disorder is also abbreviated as “PTSD.” Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, follows Billy Pilgrim, a World War II soldier, on his adventures through both the war and after the war. Pilgrim believes that he is visited by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore and abducted by them. He also thinks that he is able to “time travel” to different events throughout his own life.
Human beings often claim to be searching for the truth. The truth often entails finding the right answer, choice, or formula. The search for truth develops a tendency to settle for the easiest choice—a false truth; more often than not, a false truth goes unquestioned in order to remain benighted. Concerning the false truth in The Things They Carried, information—specifically memories, must be sorted into two categories: those stories that are true and those which are simply glorified recreational war stories. It would be a near impossible task due to the extent that the tales mix.
War has a profound and lasting impact on individuals and society. In “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, he tells different stories of before, during and after war and how it affects the soldiers, mentally and physically. In these stories Tim O’Brien illustrates these traumas and the long-lasting effects and impact that the war will always have on these men. Even though all the men didn’t survive the ones that did continue to have traumatic flashbacks. War has a lasting impact on individuals and society, affecting not only the physical but the mental and emotional well-being of those involved.
Throughout Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut intertwines reality and fiction to provide the reader with an anti-war book in a more abstract form. To achieve this abstraction, Kurt Vonnegut utilizes descriptive images, character archetypes, and various themes within the novel. By doing so, he created a unique form of literature that causes the reader to separate reality from falsehood in both their world, and in the world within Vonnegut’s mind. Vonnegut focuses a lot on the characters and their actions in “Slaughterhouse Five.”
People are influenced by the events that surround them. Individuals transform into a product of their environment and experiences of the time. The literature and art often reflects the time period in which it is written in, and Vonnegut’s novel is no exception. The novel takes place during World War II, but is written during the time of the Vietnam War. With the Vietnam War, came a lot of anti-war propaganda.
Let this essay be a reminder to the world that totalitarian ideologies will bring forth catastrophe just as National Socialism did in Nazi Germany. The memoirs of Rudolf Hoss, Death Dealer, is one of the most detailed accounts of a man who was the Commandant of Auschwitz, and is known as one of the greatest mass murderers in history. In the forward Primo Levi wrote to Death Dealer, he stated that even though this autobiography is filled with evil and has no literary quality, it’s one of the most instructive books ever published because it describes a human life exemplary in its way (Hoss, 3). In this essay, I will argue that Primo Levi thought Death Dealer is one of the most instructive books because it seeks to explain how ordinary men
Storytelling has been the epitome of human expression for thousands of years. Along with musicians and artists, talented storytellers use their work to share ideas with others, often in an effort to evoke emotion or to persuade people to think similarly. Every element in a story is carefully crafted by the author in order to communicate a desired message to his or her audience. In Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut incorporates irony into the story to express his belief that fighting wars is illogical.
Title: Slaughterhouse-Five Author: Kurt Vonnegut Thesis: Throughout KVs SF, he describes in matter of fact way the psychological impact/effects of the devastation of war and death upon Billy Pilgrim and how he handles it. Through the exploration of Billy Pilgrim’s detached and indifferent thoughts, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five illustrates the coping mechanisms of a World War II veteran with post traumatic stress disorder.
Technological Advancements in Warfare and their Effects on Mental Health Humans are extremely social creatures. People have an unparalleled capacity to empathize and recognize the emotions of others. However, extreme trauma can severely compromise this ability, particularly trauma inflicted by warfare. As a result of his first hand experience with the government 's use of technology in warfare, Billy Pilgrim of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five loses his ability to control his social interactions, becoming apathetic and disconnected with the world around him, a phenomenon not uncommon amongst those who have seen the immediate devastation of modern warfare technology.
The creative ways Kurt Vonnegut intertwined the novels aspects to the bombing allowed for extreme emphasis and attention to be focused on the important event. The story of the Dresden air raid is not often told but through a different science fiction outlet Vonnegut was able to bring attention to the event. The significance of this somewhat ordinary science fiction novel is brought to life by the anti war message and details about World War
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.