Slaughterhouse Five Essay by LA

Slaughterhouse Five​: A Cycle of Self­-Destruction

Kurt Vonnegut’s ​Slaughterhouse Five ​is an anti­war novel that reveals the glorification of war and its effects. In this account of the bombing of Dresden, Vonnegut exposes the American war paradigm through supporting characters, such as Edgar Derby, Kilgore Trout, and the Tralfamadorians. Edgar Derby, a very normal and poor high school teacher, gives his life meaning by fighting bravely in the war. Kilgore Trout is an odd science fiction writer who communicates his beliefs through novel. The tralfamadorians are small green creatures who Vonnegut uses to ironically communicate his beliefs, such as free will. Together with these characters, Vonnegut uses Campbell’s monograph, an essay about the American war paradigm written by an American traitor, to more literally portray his message. Through this paradigm, Vonnegut reveals the cycle which makes poor Americans hate themselves, purposefully benefiting the rich; a cycle created by patriotism and the dependence on money for self­worth. In ​Slaughterhouse Five,​ Vonnegut uses supporting characters Edgar Derby, Kilgore Trout, and the tralfamadorians in partnership with Campbell’s monograph to develop the American war paradigm, revealing the emotionally self­destructive cycle created by patriotism and financial self­worth which deliberately preserves the unhappiness of the poor to benefit the American elite. [Read more…]

Slaughterhouse Five Essay by CP

Slaughterhouse-Five: The Systematic Manipulation Of The Masses

In Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut uses Campbell’s monograph, the motif of humans as machines, along with the symbolism of Trout’s novels to reveal the inner workings of American society, in which patriotism and capitalism allow for the growth of the system and the glorification of war, while ultimately depleting human morals. Campbell, an American traitor who allied himself with the Nazis during World War II, wrote a monograph in which he criticized American society’s faults, in which people are systematically taught to hate themselves if they do not become successful. Kilgore Trout, a science-fiction writer, wrote the novels The Money Tree and The Gutless Wonder, which symbolically depict how the capitalism and patriotism of American society allow for the act of war. As a result, the system consistently devalues human morals making people into machines to be used as tools for the system’s benefit. [Read more…]

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