Influence of Early Lifa and War on Kurt Vonnegut Jr. to Encourage a Generation Against War

2263 WordsJul 8, 201810 Pages
Influence of Early Life and War on Kurt Vonnegut Jr. to Encourage a Generation Against War Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is one of the most well known World War II authors. His humble beginnings and early life misfortunes shaped not only his writings, but also his view of the world. His imprisonment in Dresden in World War II, however, formed his opinions about war at an early age and later inspired many of his works and style of writing. After the returning from World War II, Vonnegut voiced his sentiments through his writing that war was wasteful and uncivilized. Vonnegut developed a unique blend of sadness, satire, and simplicity, along with his ability to understand the audience, which made his novels comprehensible and inspirational to any…show more content…
When British and American forces raided the city with firebombs, Vonnegut and his fellow captives were saved due to their underground imprisonment. The bombing killed more than 135,000 people, most of whom were innocent civilians, more than the deaths of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. After the bombing, Vonnegut was given the morbid task of carrying the corpses from Air-Raid shelters, including women, children, and the elderly; dead from concussions, fire, or suffocation. In a letter to his father, Vonnegut described his job and the reaction of the locals, “Civilians cursed us and threw rocks as we carried bodies to huge pyres in the city,” (Boomhower). His distressing internment in Dresden not only furthered his anti-war sentiments, but also established a reoccurring theme in his books: the irrationality of government and the senselessness of war. Vonnegut saw the bombing of Dresden and the slaughter of innocents as wasteful and meaningless. He could not comprehend the purpose of destroying a “beautiful” and fully functional civilization (Wiswell 5). The annihilation of the city and lives of the innocent affirmed his views of war as a waste, and even lead to his feeling that, “civilization ended in World War I” (Vitale). This view indicated Vonnegut believed World War II was a meaningless act committed by the uncivilized. Vonnegut exercised a minimal and comical style of writing to communicate his views against war. His experience in high school and

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