The book that I read for my ISU was Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. The reason I chose this book was that I read Cats Cradle by the same author previously. Both books share the similar anti war themes. Cats Cradle paralleled the Cuban missile crisis of 1963.
His unique writing style was what interested me in reading another book by him. Kurt VONNEGUT, Jr.’s innovative sixth novel, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) tells the story of the World War II firebombing of Dresden and its effect on the life of a young American PRISONER OF WAR, Billy Pilgrim, who travels back and forth through time. The novel synthesizes Vonnegut’s previous work, and it proved so central to the American quest for literary equivalent to its own turmoil during the Vietnam War that within a year it had established Vonnegut as one of the country’s leading writers.
Both books are written in the style of a parable, a childrens story with an underlying message. An example of such a story would be The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
*briefly mention Billys life in 1964, plane crash ,bouncing through time
the messages explared in the book include learning from history ,enjoying life ,and learning from history
It is our duty to learn form history, or else we will be condemned to repeat it. Kurt Vonnegut named his book Slaughterhouse Five or The Childrens Crusade, because it compared World War 2 to the Childrens Crusades. The Childrens Crusade took place in 1213, when 30 000 children, from Germany and France volunteered thinking they were going to Palestine. The Crusades had been glamorized as treks by the English to Holy Land to take back what was theirs by divine right. The truth was that they were going to be sold into slavery in North Africa. Two monks came up with this idea. About half the children died on transport ships; the others were sold. World War 2 as Vonnegut saw it, was fought by children as well, and glamorized by the media to get you to join. Vonneguts friend in the introduction said to him that Youll pretend you were men instead of babies, and youll be played in the movies by Frank Sinatara and John Wayne or some of those glamorous war loving dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so that well have a lot more of them. And theyll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs. The point trying to be made here is that war takes away and has taken away many of our children, for no other reason than to satisfy children in high places. We often learn nothing from war until it is too late. Fighting for ideas, causes that are no longer relevant, or seem so, by the time the conflict is over ideas such as Democracy or Communism are no longer relevant to those who fought for those ideas. History once again repeated itself in the Vietnam war.
Billy had already seen his future, as well as traveled into the past. He did not change the events leading up to his plane crash in 1968, which sent him time traveling because as the Tralfamadorians said The moment is structured that way. There was no need for Billy to exert any control over his life-he was going to be assassinated by Paul Lazzaro, in a Chicago of a divided America in 1976. Billy remained dead for a moment, then returned to 1945 Dresden, to re-live his life. This was and will always be his fate. Billy did not want to exert any control to change the cycle of events in his life, because he followed the Tralfamadorians philosophy: Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones, as he bounced from war (Dresden) to domestic life (Ilium). show clip (Billys death)
enjoying the moment
The Tralfamadorians told Billy that theres one thing that earthlings might learn to do if they tried hard enough: Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones. Billy did this throughout Slaughterhouse-Five. Whenever someone got killed, or catastrophic events were described, his response to such incidents were So it goes. He mourned for no one, with the exception of the horses who pulled his wagon, in the bombed out city of Dresden. Billy learned to make the best of his time shifting abilities, by reading Kilgore Trout whenever he could after 1948, when he was institutionalized. They are the only other thing Billy enjoys in his situation, apart from spending time with Montana Wildhack, where they are placed in a zoo for the whole planet of Tralfamadoria to see and delight at.
show Apocalypse Now clip; say it is a dramatic example of mans brutality during war and the destruction he caan unleash upon the innocent . The innocent are always the greatest fatialites during war because they dont want to be involved.
Slaughterhouse five comparison to the stone angel