Slaughterhouse-five and War

Topics: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Science fiction Pages: 3 (1063 words) Published: May 5, 2013
To what ends do the illusion of free will, the mention of war and the key motif of “so it goes” contribute to the novel?
Throughout the novel Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut we focus on three motifs/themes to define whether or not it is an anti-war novel. Through the anti-war illusion of free will theme and the “so it goes” motif we are able to make clear assumptions. The illusion of free will, “so it goes” and the presence of the narrator and gruesome images of war throughout the play defy Vonnegut’s idea that “writing an anti-war novel is the same as writing an anti-glacier novel” clearly stating that he is not writing against war. We further question the authorial intentions due to the fact the Vonnegut portrays both science fiction and anti-war features through, Tralfamadorians, the destructiveness of war, free will being incarcerated and the way in which the phrase “so it goes” is used. This science fiction, anti-war novel narrated in both first and third person provides a very ironic and satire tone about war and Billy’s adventures, such as being transported across Germany, down Dresden in a slaughterhouse and finally abducted by aliens . All while Billy tries to make sense of his life.

Through themes such as the destructiveness of war, in contrast to the science fiction, us readers debate where Vonnegut’s aim was to make an anti-war novel. First of all, Slaughterhouse-five “contains all moments of time occurring” and in all these moments of time something is said or done to portray evidence of an anti-war novel. Throughout the novel destructiveness of war is portrayed several times, through vivid imagery of fire, asphyxiation, sickness, death, destruction, pain and many other things we question why Vonnegut would imply something that he denies. Starting with the firebombing in Dresden we are illustrated the pain of the soldiers and the destruction of the place. Moreover, Billy’s speech end very violently as well as he is shot for something that...
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