War is Inevitable and Death is Too

1111 WordsJun 16, 20185 Pages
Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five is a satire on the behaviors of man. Often characterized as an anti-war novel, Slaughterhouse-Five tries to show that war and destruction are a part of the human life cycle. Humanity is highly conflict prone; conflict resolution often manifests itself in the terms of war. Vonnegut attempts to show that war results in widespread death and destruction; therefore, war and death are inevitable. In Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut explores the inevitability of war, shown through the examination of color usage - such as blue and ivory - in order to symbolize the interminable presence of war. Vonnegut establishes the over riding idea of how war is inevitable to prove that no human beings will ever be…show more content…
Vonnegut continues to explore the relationship between the colors blue and ivory as he depicts the attire of Howard W. Campbell Jr.. He is “sheathed in a blue body stocking which [has] yellow stripes running from his armpits to his ankles” (162). The attire that Campbell wears is often associated with super-heroes, characters that symbolize hope and morality, in comic books. Campbell propagandizes war and is the ultimate embodiment of the loss of hope and of the existence of moral depravity. The use of blue and yellow, which is a component of ivory, in Campbell’s uniform, comes to symbolize both physical and moral death. Campbell’s armband, “with a blue swastika in a circle of white” (163), is the ultimate visualization of Nazi death and moral depravity. The use of color on Campbell’s uniform, imitates the repetitive use of blue and ivory throughout the novel; however, the use of “yellow” on Campbell’s uniform as derivative of ivory, ultimately symbolizing a greater sense of some sort of moral deterioration. Even though Vonnegut outfitted Campbell like a super-hero, Campbell’s character is another symbol that provides evidence that war is inevitable and it ultimately leads to death and destruction. Vonnegut uses the colors blue and ivory to symbolize the relationship between life and death. Vonnegut also uses blue and ivory to establish a symbolic connection between the cruelties of war; in
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