Major Themes of Slaughter House by Kurt Vonnegut Essay

Decent Essays

In Slaughterhouse-Five, the author, Kurt Vonnegut, did an excellent job to narrate the life story of Billy Pilgrim, a man who could travel between his past and future back and forth. And as readers went through the novel, there were two major themes that would stick in their mind, which were the condemnation of war, and the attitude towards life. The central event of the book, the bombing of Dresden, has caught the readers’ attention to the power of a war. The unnecessary war attack brought 135,000 German civilians to death, and hundreds of artistic and historical buildings were destroyed -“Dresden was like the moon now nothing but minerals” (81). Furthermore, as the book mentioned two times that during World War II in Germany, candles and …show more content…

Throughout the comparison between a slaughterhouse and human’s world, Vonnegut successfully exposed the anti-war theme in this novel. Moreover, Vonnegut stated his hatred toward any kinds of killing at the beginning of the chapter, “I had [have] told my sons that they were [are] not under any circumstances to take part in massacres, and that the news of massacres of enemies was [is] not to fill them with satisfaction or glee” (13). On the other hand, the reason Vonnegut only talked about the life story of Billy on Tralfamadore was because he wanted to present his unique point of view about time and free will. There, the Tralfamadorians taught Billy that they did not want to make any changes or to do anything, since they already believed that everything had been determine, no matter in past, present, or future. In their point of view, they thought every single event would always happen, and they could not make any changes to it, so that they tried to “Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones” (55). Through this philosophy, it helped Bill felt better toward deaths and the awful things he had experienced in his past life. In addition, there was a very deep poetry in the novel: “GOD GRANT ME THE SERENITY TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE, COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN, AND WISDOM ALWAYS TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE” (95). This poetry presented a very objective

Get Access