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How Did Kurt Vonnegut Influence Slaughterhouse Five

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The Influence of Kurt Vonnegut's Life in Slaughterhouse Five Vonnegut calls upon his personal experiences to create his breakthrough work, Slaughterhouse Five. Vonnegut expresses his own feeling on war, family, and free will through the non-linear narrative of the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim. His experience as a soldier and death within his family are mirrored into Pilgrim’s character. When Vonnegut was a junior studying biochemistry at Cornell he enlisted into the 106th infantry division of the United States army. There he was shipped overseas to fight during World War Two in 1944 and was captured by the German army in the Battle of the Bulge before the end of that year (Farrell n.p.) Vonnegut spent the following months as a prisoner of war, being transported…show more content…
When Kurt Vonnegut traveled home for Mother's day in 1944 his mother had been found dead due to an overdose on sleeping pills. The death of his mother would haunt him for the rest of his life (Farrell n.p.) However, this was not the end to the deaths in his family. In 1958,” Vonnegut’s family life took a traumatic turn...when his sister Alice died of cancer forty-eight hours after her husband, James Carmalt Adams, had been killed in a commuter train crash in New York City.”(Farrell n.p.) Vonnegut lost these three people who were close to him and tells emphasises his feelings about death in his novel. He stresses numerous times that the killing of the people in Dresden was horrible even if it was supposedly necessary for the Americans to win the war. Billy Pilgrim’s family also has a turn of events that end up tearing his family apart within a small window of time just as Vonnegut's had. On the day of Billy's plane crash, which resulted in him being the lone survivor, Billy’s wife rushed to the hospital only to be killed due to carbon monoxide poisoning upon arriving. Death is something that Vonnegut struggled to overcome and influenced this
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