Analysis Of Kurt Vonnegut 's ' The Great Depression '

1711 Words May 3rd, 2015 7 Pages
On the 11th of November 1922, Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. The date and the place of birth are important because it guarantees Vonnegut two experiences – the development of his Midwestern attitude and the Great Depression – which have fashioned his individuality as a science-fiction writer. (Lundquist 2) According to John T. Flanagan, a Midwesterner has an attitude of “individualism, self-reliance, a practical materialism, skepticism of custom and tradition unless rooted in common sense, political intransigence, and isolationism.” (iii) After the Great Depression, where Vonnegut witnessed a large amount of Americans suffering because of lack of self-respect, this Midwestern attitude was emphasized. In an interview with Frank McLaughlin, Vonnegut states that his goal as a writer is to “serve his society” (Vonnegut 76) by “forcing them to consider what it means to be human in a chaotic, often absurd, and irrational universe.” (Simpson 262) Vonnegut’s Midwestern attitude of individuality and purpose for writing collide and create a common theme in his works. By analyzing “Harrison Bergeron”, “Welcome to the Monkey House”, and “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” it is easy to see that Vonnegut’s serves his society by showing flaws in the society and then showing a common theme of the value of individuality. “Harrison Bergeron” begins in the year 2081 and everyone is equal through the use of physical and mental handicaps. George and Hazel Bergeron are…
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