Kurt Vonnegut is one of the greatest pacifist writers in the world, although criticized by many he still tries to get his message across to the public. Kurt Vonnegut has written many novels in his lifetime the most well known is Slaughterhouse Five, which tells of his experiences somewhat in World War Two. Throughout all his novels he seems to keep the same “recurring Vonnegut theme is the evil that occurs when technology is allowed by man to run rampant. I am the enemy of all technological progress that threatens mankind.”(Saturday Evening Post, May/June 86 pg. 38)
Kurt Vonnegut was born on November 11th, in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was born into a family where the father was a respectable architect, but less than a year after his parents marriage came World War One. “Prohibition ended the Lieber income from brewing and the Great Depression brought a halt to building and hence unemployment to to Vonnegut’s architect father. Looking back on those years, Vonnegut has said that the time of the Great Depression was not particularly hard for him.”(American Writers, A Collection of Literary Biographies, Supplement 2,Part 2 pg 754) Kurt Vonnegut had his first writing experience a Shortridge Highschool in Indianapolis. He then attended Cornell University where he majored in chemistry and biology. After being kicked out of Cornell he then Enlisted in the army.
Soon after his enlistment his mother committed suicide and his father died roughly 13 years after. He had become a German prisoner of war in 1944 which was the inspration for his book Slaughterhouse Five. After returning home he began the start of many novels.
Many things had affected his life such key items as the Great Depression, his parents dying when he was young, being captured in the war and the death of his 41 year old sister. This would lead him to mock how society would be in years to come.
In his first novel Player Piano he makes fun of an electric company that sacrifices humanity for technology. This was set in years to come where scientists and other people of that field were attempting to have machines take over humans jobs. This is the start of many personal experiences that motivate him to either mock society or warn them if they are not careful. In using his own experiences he makes his points more realistic. Another one of his novels Cat’s Cradle was about a scientist who makes some sort of reaction that turns water into solid ice form, but in the end is responsible for the end of the world.
In Vonnegut’s most famous book Slaughterhouse Five he tells of his experience for the most part of how he lived through the bombing of Dresden. He explains that not only will the technology used in wars will destroy people but also to live the happy moments of life. His latest book Timequake is about civilization regressing and not expanding they are forced to go back ten years and repeat everything they have done during those ten years.
Kurt Vonnegut has long been called a Science Fiction writer but still insists he is not. For years people have read his books maybe for fun or maybe they understand what he is trying to say. Using his own experiences he still preaches that society will destroy itself if technology is going the way it is and that we live the happy moments in life over and over.