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Slaughter-House Five

Uploaded by cevster on Mar 20, 2004

The Sociological Impact of Slaughter-House Five on Post-World War II America

When Kurt Vonnegut had Slaughter-House Five published in 1969, the nation was in a frenzy over the Vietnam War. Citizens were criticizing the government for participating in a war for their own selfish reasons. The emergence of this anti-war book revealed the some of the horrors of war and opened people’s eyes to the insignificance of a human life in a war. It finally brought out in the open the subject of the firebombing of Dresden in WW II. The bombing, which killed more innocent victims than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined, fueled the people’s passion against the Vietnam War. It revealed what the government tried to glorify as a terrible and horrifying reality.

By recounting the dreadful and appalling experience of war, he overturned the belief in the government by the people. Vonnegut’s description of the gruesome and bloody deaths of innocent civilians that had nothing to do with the war, coupled with the mixed feelings about the feasibility of the war, devastated the nation’s trust in the government and military. The people began to stop blindly believing what they were told and began to form their own opinions about events and ideas. Part of its popularity was due to the fact that it’s release coincided with a time period in which the nation was involved in a war that was not supported by the citizens of the States.

By writing in a style that appealed to the common people, he could get his message across to whole population instead of just the select elite. It could be read at many levels and could be read simply as a novel or as a theological work. Packaged in this entertaining book on the lowest level was a recounted tale of one man’s experience as a POW in WWII with deeper running theme that human nature as a whole could not be changed and that therefore war was inevitable. But he also gives the message that we should do everything possible to prevent war. Just because wars are unavoidable, that does not mean that we should not try to limit the number that occur. This was exactly what the American people thought about the Vietnam War: and this one was one of the unnecessary ones. This book became especially relevant to the Vietnam War in that it dealt with the killing of innocent...

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Uploaded by:   cevster

Date:   03/20/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   2 pages (544 words)

Views:   7070

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