De-Glorification of War in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

War is defined as a conflict carried on by Mof arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation. In the novel Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, the entire book is focused on a sole concept that war is wrong and how this book is, at its core, an anti-war books Using imagery and explicit detail, Vonnegut gives many reasons why people should be disgusted and appalled by wart Two of the most influential anti-war pieces that he talks about are the effects of the mass destruction of war and how the war made Billy Pilgrim completely insane, to the point of him thinking he knows alie.

Even though this book is fiction, Kurt Vonnegut had experienced first hand both of these tragedies, except instead of Billy Pilgrim, it was himself He uses his own background knowledge and talks about what he knows, which is really why this novel speaks volumes, because all of the things he wrote about, happened and still happen because of wart Kurt Vonnegut uses the power of how dangerous and destructive war truly is to attempt to make the reader feel disgusted and horrified about what truly happens in wars.

One of the more tragic events that occurred is the bombing of Dresden, Germany It was described as the night when, HAllied bombers dropped incendiary bombs on Dresden, creating a firestorm that destroyed the city and killed an estimated 135,000 people, almost all of them civilians. This was nearly twice the number of people killed by the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, The Dresden bombing remains the single heaviest air strike in military history” (Cox).

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When later asked to justify this attack, no active military officials could begin to try to right this wrong Billy was taken underground into a slaughterhouse for safekeeping, so he was actually right in the middle of this maelstrom Vonnegut also had his own interpretation of the bombing, and he said that, “The devastation of Dresden was boundless”. He was actually present for the bombing, so him calling the bombing as a “devastation” to the city of Dresden is entirely accurate to what actually happened.

Not only was there the bombing of Dresden, but there were also many other horrible acts, such as when the Germen Zazis, “u. made [candles and soap] from the fat of rendered Jews and Gypsies and fairies and communists and other enemies of State. This is just completely gross and an over the top act that was actually done in World War II by the Nazis. Just to think about how Vonnegut is making this up, but the fact that people willingly did this to other people should make everyone overwhelmed by the thought of war, which is exactly what war is. Vonnegut made a promise to Mary O’Hare that, “there won‘t be a part for Frank Sinatra or John Wayne [in this book]. What he is trying to say is how he is not trying to glorify war and make this into a movie rendition and make money, but is writing for the purpose to inform the public about how war truly is and how it is so unnecessary in this world, War not only has a physical toll on people, but also a mental one.

This side can almost be worse than the physical, as peoples’ minds are completely altered and forever changed because of what they had seen when they were active military personnel. Because of the war, Billy Pilgrim is left insane and believing in alien life, the Tralfamadorians, which is quite out of the normal lifestyle of a typical person. He believes that he, “., heard a melodious owl, but it wasn’t a melodious owl. It was a flying saucer from Tralfamadore, navigating in both space and time, therefore seeming to Billy Pilgrim to have come from nowhere all at once”. According to him, the Tralfamadorians cam, abducted him and took him to their zoo on Tralfamadore to be put on display, This just shows how messed up his psyche is, thanks to the war and what he had been forced to go through.

He describes the Tralfamadorians as, “… two feet high, and green, and shaped liked plumber’s friends. Their suction cups were on the ground, and their shafts, which were extremely flexible, usually pointed to the sky At the top of each shaft was a little hand with a green eye in its palm”. Obviously these creatures are not real, but him trying to create and believe in these creatures shows how he’s trying to cope with everything that had gone on in his life. He develops this need to the emotional damage he sustained during the wart He could be doing this because, “, HBilly’s condition is, on one level, a symbol of the shock, confusion, dislocation, and desire for escape that result from the horrible experiences of wart.

His time travels could, perhaps, be interpreted as the delusions of an emotionally unstable man” (Cox). All of these things could also be reasons for his extreme paranoia and synesthesia when Billy heard a chord by “The Febs“ that was, “tit intentionally sour, sourer still, unbearably sour, and then a chord that was suffocating sweet, and then some psychosomatic responses to the changing chords”. Billy is just trying to get by in his world anyway that he can, even if he needs to imagine aliens and dream up a beautiful woman, Montana Wildhack, who loves him for he is, then so be it.

He does all of these things to satisfy the needs that he has due to his mental health, and his mental health got that way because of the wart Kurt Vonnegut uses this book to talk about how war should not in any circumstance be glorified or thought of as a “glamorous” subject. He talks about pain, mass genocide, personal deaths, and the longtime effects that the war can have on people. Two of the most influential anti-war pieces that he talks about are the effects of the mass destruction of war and how the war made Billy Pilgrim completely insane, to the point of him thinking he knows aliens. He uses imagery and multiple literary devices to make you feel sickened and left feeling as if your psyche was also personally damaged. He keeps his promise to Mary O’Hare and makes this book an anti—war book without making it seem desirable and writes about no battle scenes, for even without battle, a war is still a war, and can still cause the same pain.

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De-Glorification of War in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. (2023, Apr 19). Retrieved from

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