sample
Haven't found the Essay You Want?
For Only $12.90/page

Kurt Vonnegut Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Slaughterhouse Five

Slaughterhouse-Five explores fate, free will, and the illogical nature of human beings. Protagonist Billy Pilgrim is unstuck in time, randomly experiencing the events of his life, with no idea of what part he will next visit. Billy Pilgrim says there is no free will, an assertion confirmed by a Tralfamadorian, who says, “I’ve visited thirty-one inhabited planets in the universe. Only on Earth is there any talk of free will.” The story’s central concept is that most of humanity is insignificant–they do what they do, because they must. To the Tralfamadorians, everything simultaneously exists, therefore, everyone is always alive. They, too, have wars and suffer tragedies (they destroy the universe whilst testing spaceship fuels), but, when Billy asks what they…

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut combines the themes of loss and determinism to create a story of the power of tragedy. The characters and events experience the inevitability of tragedy and begin to accept the fate granted, affecting their view of their own lives. Billy Pilgrim is a numb and senseless character after his experiences in WWII; witnessing the bombing of Dresden triggered the concept that the he cannot change circumstances which therefore causes him to no longer participate in his life. Everything becomes insignificant, his view of death best showcases this stating carelessly, “so it goes” over 100 times through the novel, whether talking about the death of microbes in his jacket or the incomparable Martin Luther King Jr.; because…

2081 and Harrison Bergeron Essay

While the short film, 2081, has many common similarities with its adapted version of the short story, Harrison Bergeron, they differ from each other to a certain degree. They contrast from each other because the short film includes an unplanned scene where Harrison hid a bomb that activated the signal to reach all televisions when triggered, while the short story did not have this very important aspect at all. This is very critical because the bomb represents the most crucial act that humans use everyday: dependence. The story, Harrison Bergeron, missed what was really essential on what might have been impactful on the readers, the bomb shown in 2081. This bomb can be represent many things, but most importantly, the…

Individualism in “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut

Individualism is a very important thing in everyone’s life, its part of our personality as portrayed in the story called, “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Taking away that individualism is taking apart some of that person. The book in many ways shows what would happen if no one was different and all the people in the world were the same, or basically how disastrous. One example is when the Bergeron’s were watching TV and the announcer came on to announce. He started out enthusiastically and with fire, but automatically got a shock. He tried to act out and be the announcer man with energy, but since everyone was the same he just gave up and let the ballerina read…

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 use similar motifs to convey their common anti-war message. Although it is truly difficult for any author to communicate the true nature of war in a work of literature, both novels are triumphant in their attempts to convey the devastating experience. The authors’ analogous writing styles, themes, and motifs run parallel to one another. Both Slaughterhouse-Five and Catch-22 incorporate irony, exemplify the idiocy and folly of military institutions, and convey a similar theme throughout their story lines. One common theme is seen in the characters of Hungry Joe in Catch-22 and Edgar Derby in Slaughterhouse-Five. Both of these characters relate to the casualties that were not caused by direct battle wounds. These motifs…

Harrison Bergeron

With imperfect eyes, total equality is hard to accomplish, especially with the notion of judgment and competition constantly tempting otherwise. However, the high hope of peace and utopia in fulfillment has always been a human thrive. Throughout history many men have attempted such perfection. Karl Marx inquired the structure of communism through the Manifesto to ensure equality to a large socially grouped people. According to Vonnegut, so did the U.S. government, in the year 2081. In the outrageous short story of “Harrison Bergeron”, many historic achievements and ideas, like the Manifesto, can closely parallel with that of the future outlook described by Vonnegut. Vonnegut shows the ridiculousness of the outcome of this, at the time, popular ideology with satire and…

“Slaughterhouse 5” by Kurt Vonnegut

INTRODUCTION Having reflecting the WWI and the anti-war oppositions of our author Kurt VonnegutSlaughter House 5 can be considered as one of the significant works of post modern American literature. In this work I am going to criticize this book regarding the elements of the Archetypal Approach; that is, the hero, his quest and sacrifice, mother earth and father sky, and elements of the world. HERO, QUEST AND SACRFICE Normally the term hero reminds the reader a robust and glorified character; however, in this book we happen to meet a weak and mentally ill one. So that, this disables the reader see the story from the perspective of a real strong hero who leave his place for a specific purpose,…

Science Fiction: the Vessel for Fatalism

Throughout Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut creates an environment shaped by elements of science fiction. These elements, notably time travel and alien contact, make the novel “a science fiction that deals with the topic of free will versus fatalism,” (Isaacs 408). Throughout the novel Billy remains “unstuck in time,” seeing his whole life flash before his eyes in a random order of events (Vonnegut 15). This random order forces the reader to examine the events in the novel the same way that a Tralfamadorian would, adding to the element of science fiction. Because of the creative freedom associated with the science fiction genre, Vonnegut uses it to express a theme of fatalism in the novel and “as a way of making those…

The Destructiveness of War in Slaughterhouse-Five

“There is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre” (Vonnegut, 19). Kurt Vonnegut experienced first hand the Dresden Fire Bombing of World War II. The Dresden Fire Bombing was a massacre that was designed by the allies to kill as many German civilians as possible. Because of Vonnegut’s war torn mind, it took him nearly 25 years to write Slaughterhouse-Five, a fictionalized account of the fire bombing of Dresden and about the destructiveness of war. Slaughterhouse-Five has been widely criticized and condemned, and according to June Edwards, “The book is an indictment of war, criticizes government action, is anti-American, and is unpatriotic.”(Schmidt, 121). These charges and accusations just help support Vonnegut’s idea that different political ideologies help fuel war and…

Is Billy Pilgrim Sane?

Billy Pilgrim plays a very influential role as the main character in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5. Since the novel is based entirely on Billy Pilgrim’s interaction with the environment around him, pinpointing Billy’s state of sanity on the scale of normality helps the reader determine what is really happening, and what is a figment of Billy’s imagination. Before making the decision regarding Billy’s state of mind, one must first establish the parameters of what is considered sane and what is not. What one person may consider insane another may consider pure genius. The dictionary definition of ‘sane’ is: free from mental derangement; having a sound, healthy mind. However the general consensus for ‘sane’ is a lot closer to: having or…

Compare and Contrast Essay

In the stories, “The Lie,” by Kurt Vonnegut and “Barn Burning,” by William Faulkner, the main characters mature from childhood into adulthood. This maturity either develops from support of one’s family and upbringing or it grows internally from one’s conscience. We see from both stories that the main characters use this maturity to courageously speak up. In the story, “The Lie,” Eli matures into adulthood. Due to his parents’ lack of understanding of his individuality in the beginning of the story, Eli has to deny his own feelings. When Eli receives the letter that he was rejected from the esteemed high school, Whitehill, he secretly tears it up since he is nervous of his parents’ disappointment. Eli’s mother, Sylvia, helps…

What the Utopian World Created

Divergent by Veronica Roth and “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, are stories of a dystopian world that take away peoples power and control. In Divergent the leader took over the people’s minds and psychologically controlled them to do what the government wanted to do. In “Harrison Bergeron” such as the government wanted power so they psychologically controlled people by handicaps where a buzzing sound go off in your ear. In doing this people would lose their train of thoughts, so the people would never know what the government was doing. The government did this so no one would ever gain more power than them, people may have noticed that the government did not do this to make things equal…