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A review of character development in slaughterhouse five by kurt vonnegut

Historical Background By February of 1945, Dresden was one of the few major German cities that had not been bombed in the Allied campaign to break German morale by targeting entire cities and towns. It had become a major refuge for civilians fleeing the advance of the Soviet Army across Eastern Europe.

Although there were no obvious military targets in Dresden, allied commanders later suggested that the city was an important communications link between the German armies in eastern and western Europe.

Critics of the raid maintain that the lack of military significance and the inflated population were reasons not to target Dresden. Some historians suggest that the fire-bombing of Dresden was ordered as revenge for the V-2 rocket attacks on London late in the war. The raid was carried out over three days, with the Royal Air Force leading the first wave with incendiary bombs that created a firestorm in the city. Over the next two days, the American Air Force followed up with strafing raids on the survivors.

No accurate casualty reports exist because of the firestorm, but estimates range from a low of thirty-five thousand deaths the figure offered by the Allies to over one hundred thousand the figure offered by the Germans.

Regardless of the actual number of casualties, the firebombing of Dresden obviously ranks with the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as atrocities of World War II.

  1. They do not differentiate between the past, present, or future, but live all three simultaneously in one continuous moment. How does Billy die?
  2. The notion of forgiveness is also at work in this novel.
  3. Above all, Billy is an interesting, multi-leveled personality whose experiences are not easily forgotten by the reader.
  4. He appears on a radio talk show to tell the world about the Trafalmadorian sense of time. For instance, the author portrays Billy as a weak and dislikable character, and his aim was to present the lack of heroism in a war, but many readers may have the perception that Vonnegut would have presented Billy as a sturdy and strong individual because he was a soldier and because of his position in the military during the war Wayne, 55-58.

It includes all of the elements that readers expect from Vonnegut: The novel is the result of what Vonnegut describes as a twenty-three year struggle to write a book about the firebombing of Dresden, Germany which he witnessed as an American POW incarcerated in a former slaughterhouse.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Vonnegut emerged from the experience a review of character development in slaughterhouse five by kurt vonnegut avowed pacifist. Billy, like Vonnegut, experiences the destruction of Dresden, and, as with Vonnegut, it is the defining moment of his life.

In 1969, the United States was reeling from the growing violence of the anti-war and civil rights movements. The country had witnessed the assassination of two leaders who were considered icons of peace and hope for a better society, Martin Luther King, Jr. Vonnegut was born in 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

While a student, he wrote for both his high school and college newspapers. In 1944, he was captured at the Battle of Bulge and imprisoned in Dresden, Germany. In February of 1945, the Allies bombed the city of Dresden, destroying most of the city and killing tens of thousands. After the war, Vonnegut married and worked in journalism and public relations.

His first works were published in the 1950s, but were dismissed as lightweight science fiction. Rosewater, and Slaughterhouse-Five in the 1960s. He died due to injuries from a fall in 2007. Teaching Ideas Slaughterhouse-Five is appropriate for study in high school or college English, creative writing, or history classes. In any genre-based English class, the novel can be used as an example of the use of plot, character, and setting to communicate the theme.

The text can also be useful in a study of literary techniques such as irony and satire. Obviously, the novel would be appropriate in American literature classes as an example of modern American literature and a reflection of the historical context in which the work was produced.

Students of the art of writing can benefit from an analysis of the mechanics of Slaughterhouse-Five. The style in which the book is written, moving from one time and place to another with no apparent organization, illustrates the view of time that Vonnegut seeks to present. Vonnegut also introduces many new techniques in his writing that no doubt influence other writers.

  • Regardless of the actual number of casualties, the firebombing of Dresden obviously ranks with the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as atrocities of World War II;
  • This implies that Vonnegut clearly understood the need of using styles that are unique with consideration that to make a war novel interesting aspects or elements associated with invention and literature must be included;
  • How had the army improved Robert?
  • From one view point, there are some scenes where the author captures the aspect of modernization needed in literature irrespective of whether it is the ancient literature or modern literature; making things seems to be real.

Students of history can also benefit from the historical aspects of the novel. Although it is disjointed, Slaughterhouse-Five provides a realistic account of the experiences of an American POW and the devastation of the fire-bombing of Dresden, a seldom studied aspect of World War II. It is also a reflection of the social attitudes of the Vietnam era in which it was written.

Slaughterhouse-Five can legitimately be used in a study of the authenticity of historical novels. Because of the liberal use of mature language, sexual situations, and violence, Slaughterhouse-Five should be studied by older high school or college students.

Discussion and Writing Comprehension Chapter 1 The author discusses the false starts and dead ends that he experienced in his twenty-three year struggle to write a book about the fire bombing of Dresden which he experienced as a prisoner of the Germans at the end of World War II. Identify vocabulary — Guggenheim money Identify characters — author, Bernard V. What aspects of the book does the author insist really happened? What did the author learn in college after the war?

What jobs did the author have after the war? What fatal accident did he cover? Why do you think this difference exists? What response does the author get when he tries to get information about the Dresden raid from the Air Force?

What does this phrase mean in English? Chapter 2 The reader is introduced to the main character, Billy Pilgrim. What happens to Billy there? How does Billy describe the Tralfamadorians? What ability do the Tralfamadorians have that Earthlings do not?

How is he captured? When and how did Billy first come unstuck in time?

  1. He explains how he was kidnapped by aliens resembling upside down toilet plungers.
  2. Why is Billy upset by his mother? According to Wayne, writing such a novel requires the author to have the ability to twist issues and present things in a forward and backward manner, which is an attribute that Vonnegut uses in his material Slaughterhouse-Five to capture the attention of the reader, and to make his material interesting and informative.
  3. He feared war, and as soldier, it seems ironical because the military forces are purposely trained and equipped to manage security of a nation, and get into war with other parties that may attempt to bring insecurity to a territory.
  4. Another place and at another moment he is alive and fine. This implies that Vonnegut clearly understood the need of using styles that are unique with consideration that to make a war novel interesting aspects or elements associated with invention and literature must be included.
  5. In 1944, he was captured at the Battle of Bulge and imprisoned in Dresden, Germany.

Why does Weary try to beat Billy? Describe the German force that captured Billy. What does that force tell us about Germany at the end of the war?

What happens to the scouts?

A Character Analysis Of Billy Pilgrim From Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five

What are the two causes of the destruction that Billy drives through on his way to the Lions Club meeting? Why does the doctor tell Billy to take a nap everyday? Describe the German reserves whom the captured Americans passed. How do they compare to the group that captured Billy? Describe the conditions on the trains that transported the prisoners.

Describe the car that housed the railroad guards. While being transported on their flying saucer, he travels in time back to the prisoner train in 1945 Germany. What does Billy do to occupy his time before the aliens come? How does the message of the war movie change when it is viewed backwards?

How is Billy lifted into the flying saucer? Why do the other POWs refuse to let Billy sleep near them?

  • What varies depending on the specific conflict?
  • It includes all of the elements that readers expect from Vonnegut;
  • He marries Valencia, has a son and daughter, and becomes a successful optometrist;
  • Generally, the structure and the style that Kurt integrates in composing his story is perfect considering the fact that the novel was written several years ago.

What does Weary tell the other men in his car before he dies? What processes do the Americans go through when they arrive at the camp? Lance Rumfoord, Howard W. What does the way Tralfamadorians view the universe and Earthlings tell us about their concept of time? What was the main ingredient of the candles and soap used at the welcoming dinner for the American POWs?

Why does science fiction appeal to Billy and Rosewater? Why is Billy upset by his mother? How do the aliens change that message? What do the Tralfamadorians suggest Earthlings should learn to do? What epitaph does Billy think of on his wedding night? Billy describes his own death. What is the source of the animal magnetism Billy feels in the prison hospital shed?

What does Lazzaro say is the sweetest thing in life? What story does he tell to prove his point? What advice does Lazzaro give Billy? How does Billy die? How is Edgar Derby elected head American? To what does the author compare his first view of Dresden? Identify characters — Werner Gluck 1.

Slaughterhouse-Five Teacher’s Guide

Describe the plane crash in which Billy is injured. What does the war widow in the kitchen think of Billy, Gluck, and Derby? What work was assigned to the Americans in Dresden? How do the Americans get vitamins and minerals? Chapter 8 Billy travels from the slaughterhouse to his meeting with Kilgore Trout, his anniversary party, and back to the fire bombing of Dresden.

Identify vocabulary — nacreous Identify characters — Howard W. How does Derby respond to Campbell? How does Billy meet Trout? How does Billy react to the barbershop quartet? How does Billy describe Dresden after the fire-bombing?

What do the American fighter planes do after the fire-bombing? What do the Americans find in the suburb of Dresden? Chapter 9 While in the hospital in Vermont recovering from the plane crash, Billy discusses Dresden with another patient. He then travels in time to Dresden and to Tralfamadore. How does Valencia die?