The Effects Of War In Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five

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In World War II over 60 million or 3% of the earth’s population lost their lives. Russia made up most of these casualties and over 85% of the deaths in Russia were the deaths of prisoners of war. In the anti-war novel Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, the true horrors that this war possessed are exposed to the world through the eyes of a damaged soldier. This soldier experienced the front lines of war with his fellow soldiers and also being hidden behind bars in foreign countries. The terrors that war brings echo through the reader’s mind as the soldier bounces back and forth between his war life and normal life. The author explicitly states his negative opinion towards anti-war novels, yet he implies that he does not want to push his opinion of war on the reader, but rather paint a…show more content…
Through the characterization of Billy the reader gets a deeper look into the emotional and physical effects of war: “He had no helmet, no overcoat, no weapon, and no boots. On his feet were cheap, low-cut civilian shoes which he had bought for his father’s funeral…He didn’t look like a soldier at all. He looked like a filthy flamingo” (33). The simile to a “filthy flamingo” displays Billy is physically lacking for and an incongruity of war. The fact that Billy bought cheap shoes for his own father’s funeral reveals Billy’s relations with death and his of care for human life. The body isn’t the only thing that is effected in war which is supported in the quote, “He was a funny looking child who became a funny looking youth -- tall and weak, and shaped a like a bottle of Coca-Cola.” (23). Billy is described as
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