Black Humor In Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

899 Words4 Pages

Black humor is a mode of artistic expression in literature, drama and film in which usually serious or tragic subject such as war, death, atrocity are treated in darkly comic fashion in order to express the cruelty or absurdity of the contemporary world. Humor can also be a natural outcome of fear and it is not surprising if some dire events in Vonnegut’s narratives incite laughter rather than tears. Then, Vonnegut believes in laugh less jokes or what some critics prefer to call „black humor‟. “True enough,” Vonnegut admits, “there are such things as laugh less jokes, what Freud called gallows humor. There are real-life situations so hopeless that no relief is imaginable.” Vonnegut chose dark or black humor to describe a reality that goes beyond human imagination. Postmodern humor is often characterized …show more content…

Vonnegut portrays a very different kind of war hero from what we are used to watch in movies. Through Billy, Vonnegut makes fun and at the same condemns American society about the kind of soldiers they sent into the war. We also learn that Billy didn’t look like a soldier at all but ‘like a filthy …show more content…

Even Dresden civilians smirk at his clownish garb. When a kitchen worker in the slaughterhouse sees his blue toga, silver boots and furry muff, she asks him why he’s dressed so ridiculously. He told her that he is only trying to stay warm, yet his naiveté of how foolish he looks prompts her to compare him to other soldiers. She concludes that all the heroic soldiers must be dead. In Dresden, prior to the bombing, a German surgeon confronts Billy on the street. In English he asks if Billy thinks the war was funny, something to

Show More
Open Document