An Anti-war Story Passionate In Its Aversion Of Passion

4016 words, 17 pages

Intro Sample...

In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five , the englishmen stand out as “clean and
enthusiastic and decent and strong” (Vonnegut 119). They exhibit every romantic quality
possibly derived from the brave men sent off to defend their country from villainy, and are even
the subject of adoration for the nazis who run their prison. It would be easy to mistakenly say
that these men give war a glorious image. However, they actually mock it. They stand out from
every other character not only for being the epitome of strength and honor, but also for being
“among the first English-speaking prisoners to be taken” (Vonnegut 118) into the prison; they
haven’t truly been in the war.
Focused instead on someone that actually did... View More »

Body Sample...

During the train ride to the
prison camp, Billy accepts his situation without question, where he “had to sleep standing up, or
not sleep at all. And food had stopped coming in… the days and nights were colder all the time”
(Vonnegut 100). His stance is completely submissive from his unwillingness not just to fight for
some precious few rights on the train, but also his utter lack of complaints. This same acceptance
of misfortune gets him lectured by an englishman for letting the germans humiliate him with a
horrendous coat (Vonnegut 124). Billy does not raise any points to defend himself from the
englishman’s reproach, choosing instead to endure the painful ordeal. These few examples are
reiterated throughout the novel with Billy portrayed helplessly every time.
Billy also follows a storyline similar to Christ. He garners many followers of his
unorthodox teaching, so many that he visits “Chicago to address a large crowd on the subject of
flying saucers and the true nature of time” (Vonnegut 180). This is a drastic difference from
when he was reprimanded for ludicrous stories about extraterrestrial life and time traveling. He
and Jesus both rose from the status of lunatic to savior and truth revealer through unorthodox
teachings that brought joy to their disciples. Additionally, this speech in Chicago also shows that
“like Christ at the Last Supper, Billy predicts his own death to his followers” (Farrell). Billy
refuses help, of course. It’s already established that he doesn’t stand up for himself to whatever
powers in life that want to ...

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Panorama of Alter Schlachthof Old Slaughterhouse From Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five slaughterhouse five book cover

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