Common Themes In Kurt Vonnegut's Short Stories

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Kurt Vonnegut is known to be one of the best American authors of all time. Critics not only love his writing style and his ability to tell a story, but they adore the way he can turn a simple story into a lesson that goes way beyond the pages. Born in Indianapolis, Vonnegut attend Columbia University and even spent some time in the military. He says this helped show him what war was like, and he hated it. Vonnegut’s hatred of war is a very common theme he expresses in many of his works. His books and short stories all contain similar distinct themes such as the lack of individualism in society, the dangers of technology, manipulation from the government, and many others. On the surface, many of Vonnegut’s stories appear to be written simply…show more content…
This story began in the year of 2081, were people who are considered “overachievers” are handicapped so everyone is on an even playing field mentally, intellectually, and physically. George and Hazel Bergeron have a son, Harrison, who was taken by the government for his above-average…show more content…
One particular story that stood out to me was 2BR02B, another story that takes place years in the future. In 2BR02B, the world 's main problem is world population because of a new medication that allows people to live forever. In order to be given permission to birth a child, you must arrange for someone else to die in a gas chamber by the government, in order to keep a constant population. Wehling is a man that wants to have triplets, but does not to force his grandfather to die in order to make room, so he kills Dr. Hitz’s (the founder of the gas chambers), Leora Duncan (a gas chamber hostess), and himself. This allows the population to drop by three, allowing for the triplets to be born. An onlooking painter watches this scene unfold and has a dramatic reaction, where now he wants the government to kill him, when he said earlier that he wanted his death to be from himself. This story can be very hard to summarize shortly, but all the details are crucial to understanding the main plot and themes. Based on my interpretation of the story, Kurt’s main theme (a reoccuring theme in many of his works) is that the government does not care about who you are, they see all of their people as pieces on a game board. In other words, you are seen just as a statistic to the government and nothing more. Also, Kurt suggests the theme of a lack of individuality when he writes that the painter only
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