Use Of Irony In Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

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In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, the use of an analogy, diction, and irony contribute to the anti-war portrait of Billy Pilgrim by illuminating that society’s futile and cataclysmic war efforts cause more damage than results, making war utterly useless in the grand scheme of life. One occurrence of the anti-war message Vonnegut creates in his novel is expressed when Vonnegut writes, regarding Billy Pilgrim, “He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next.” (23). This analogy to a stage play continues throughout the novel and has a strong anti-war message within it. Vonnegut constantly ties plays to Billy to demonstrate that war is romanticized …show more content…

Vonnegut writes in chapter six, “Cinderella's slippers, which were a man's boots painted silver, were capsized side by side under a golden throne… Billy, curled in his azure nest, found himself staring at Cinderella's silver boots under a throne. And then he remembered that his shoes were ruined, that he needed boots. He hated to get out of his nest, but he forced himself to do it. He crawled to the boots on all fours, sat, tried them on.” (144-145). Vonnegut here uses Billy to destroy the fantasy created around war. War is not all looks and victorious stories, it is painful and hard to survive. This clearly demonstrates that Vonnegut believes the beauty created around war needs to be ended, and if society truly saw the trauma created by war, they would never occur. Another strong connection Vonnegut creates to enhance the anti-war message regards the birds present after the massacre of Dresden. In chapter one, Vonnegut writes, “It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. Everybody is supposed to be dead, to never say anything or want anything ever again. Everything is supposed to be very quiet after a massacre, and it always is, except for the birds. And what do the

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