Slughterhouse Five Analyses

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As a postmodern, meta fictional novel, the first chapter of Slaughterhouse-Five (Also known as Slaughterhouse-Five, or the Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance With Death; The work is also known under the lengthy title: 'Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death, by Kurt Vonnegut, a Fourth-Generation German-American Now Living in Easy Circumstances on Cape Cod [and Smoking Too Much], Who, as an American Infantry Scout Hors de Combat, as a Prisoner of War, Witnessed the Fire Bombing of Dresden, Germany, ‘The Florence of the Elbe,’ a Long Time Ago, and Survived to Tell the Tale. This Is a Novel Somewhat in the Telegraphic Schizophrenic Manner of Tales of the Planet Tralfamadore, Where the Flying Saucers Come From. Peace.' but that is another story) is an author's preface about how he came to write Slaughterhouse-Five, apologizing, because the novel is "so short and jumbled and jangled," because "there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre." The first sentence says of the novel: "All this happened, more or less." (In 2010, that sentence was ranked No. 38 on the American Book Review's list of "100 Best First Lines from Novels.") The Narrator introduces Slaughterhouse-Five with the novel's genesis and ends discussing the beginning and the end of the Novel. The story itself begins in chapter two, although there is no reason to presume that the first chapter is not fictional. This is a technique common to postmodern meta-fiction. The story purports to be a disjointed, discontinuous narrative, from Billy Pilgrim's point of view, of being unstuck in time. Vonnegut's writing usually contains such disorder. The Narrator reports that Billy Pilgrim experiences his life discontinuously, wherein he randomly experiences (re-lives) his birth, youth, old age, and death, not in (normal) linear order. There are two narrative threads: Billy's experience of War (itself interrupted with experiences from elsewhere in his life), which is mostly linear;...
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