Views on War in Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five Essay

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Views on War in Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five

Many people returned from World War II with disturbing images forever stuck in their heads. Others returned and went crazy due to the many hardships and terrors faced. The protagonist in Slaughter-House Five, Billy Pilgrim, has to deal with some of these things along with many other complications in his life. Slaughter House Five (1968), by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., is an anti-war novel about a man’s life before, after and during the time he spent fighting in World War II. While Billy is trying to escape from behind enemy lines, he is captured and imprisoned in a German slaughterhouse. The author tells of Billy’s terrible experiences there. After the war, Billy marries and goes to school to
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The author writes of many different human beings, showing that each one thinks war is ultimately, the worst thing. While in the war, Billy is in the hospital during his imprisonment by the Germans. There is an old general there who was a teacher before joining in the war efforts. One day, in a conversation with Billy and another older man in the hospital, the general starts to talk about what he thinks of the war. He says, "You know-- we’ve had to imagine the war here, and we have imagined that it was being fought by aging men like ourselves. We had forgotten that wars were fought by babies. When I saw those freshly shaved faces, it was a shock. "‘My God, my God----’ I said to myself, ‘It’s the Children’s Crusade’" (p. 106). This general feels that war is nothing but babies being murdered by one another. He is disturbed by the thought of war and the fact that so many young people are dying for its cause. Billy, the protagonist of this novel, also has bitter feelings about war. While he is in the zoo on the planet of Tralfamadore, he is able to communicate with the aliens. In a conversation with them, he says that he is from a planet "that has been engaged in senseless slaughter since the beginning of time" (p. 116). This "senseless slaughter" that he is referring to is war. Billly himself was in the war, but obviously thinks that there is no reason for it and by no means
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