War Destruction on Combatents in Kurt Vonnegut´s Slaughterhouse- Five

1776 WordsFeb 24, 20187 Pages
The effects of war are devastating for those who experience it. The wake of destruction left behind by bloody conflicts can traumatize any onlooker; those who face the fighting firsthand are often permanently affected by the horrors they witness. Frequently, combatants require special treatment for the psychological torment that can follow intense fighting. Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five explores the harmful effects of isolation, imprisonment, and oppression through a soldier’s perspective. Sections of Vonnegut’s novel take place during World War II: the bloodiest war ever fought. The story follows Billy Pilgrim, a young man who is forced to fight overseas despite the rough conditions he will face. Billy joins his regiment as “it [is] in the process of being destroyed by Germans” (Vonnegut 40), and Vonnegut’s description of Billy accentuates his lack of preparation. He is given very little combat training, ill-fitting clothes, and is not even supplied with a firearm (Vonnegut 41). From the beginning, Billy is isolated from the other troops in a way because he is not as well prepared as the others. During a scouting mission after the devastating Battle of the Bulge, Billy is separated from his group and left with another scout, Roland Weary. This is when Billy’s physical isolation begins, chronologically speaking. Billy and Roland inadvertently separate themselves from their squadron and begin to wander around behind enemy lines. Unlike Roland, however, Billy seems to

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