The Perpetuation of a Sadistic Society: Analysis of Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse-Five' and Pollan's 'The Omnivore's Dilemma'

1510 Words Jan 30th, 2018 6 Pages
The former is a novel about the Second World War, addressing themes like post-traumatic stress disorder and the senselessness of war. The latter is a non-fiction treatise on agro-business, addressing themes like public health, food security, and the morality of killing animals. A deeper probing reveals striking similarities between these disparate works. Vonnegut and Pollan both do address slaughterhouses; although Vonnegut does so as a symbol and motif rather than as an actual working part of the meat industry as Pollan does. Both Vonnegut and Pollan discuss the slaughterhouse from the perspective of ethics, showing how the imprisonment of sentient beings at any time and for any reason presents moral problems. Finally, both Vonnegut and Pollan present their arguments within the broader context of social and political corruption. Imprisonment is presented as an inevitable product of a deeply conflicted, sadistic, and hypocritical society, in which violence serves to perpetuate political hegemony.
Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma encompasses a wide range of political, social, and economic issues related to the agricultural and food production industries. The author presents food within the broader context of power structure, touching on basic sociological issues. Likewise, Kurt Vonnegut…
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