Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

Slaughter House Five, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 810

Essay

Introduction

The effect the book Slaughterhouse-Five has had on popular culture in its perspective on war is so monumental that it practically goes unnoticed, taken for granted as just being the way things “always must have been.” “Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death” is a novel written by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II.  It’s recognized as one of the author’s most influential works. Modern Library ranked the novel as the 18th greatest English language book of the 20th century by.  The book gained popularity for its unique cynical approach to war. Vonnegut comments on the concept of war propaganda and the disillusionment caused by the American media.  This was the first time a book addressed the concept of American War propaganda, without being an anti-war book. As the author notes, Lines like, “Do you know what I say to people when I hear they’re writing anti-war books? . . . I say, ‘Why don’t you write an anti-glacier book instead (Vonnegut 4)?” Made it clear to the reader early on that the book would be revolutionary.

Billy Pilgrim is the protagonist of Slaughter House Five. The odd thing about Billy is he is not the average war hero. He is a student who gets drafted into the military. He is captured by Germans guards are in awe of how weakness and frail body. “A German measured Billy’s upper right arm with his thumb and forefinger, asked a companion what sort of an army would send a weakling like that to the front. They looked at other American bodies now, pointed out a lot more that were nearly as bad as Billy’s. (Vonnegut 83).”He is viewed as pathetic but manages by almost everyone but still manages to survive the Dresden firebombing. Billy’s character was seen as vulnerable and allowed for readers to all identify with him. They saw themselves fighting in the war alongside him. They saw Vonnegut’s interpretation as an authentic account of World War II and the horrors of war. These were concepts that were never before depicted in a war novel and they ultimately effected how all Americans viewed War as a whole. For example, when Vonnegut comments on the use of famous actors in media to lure young men into battle he says, You were just babies in the war – like the ones upstairs! . . . But you’re not going to write it that way, are you. . . . You’ll pretend you were men instead of babies, and you’ll be played in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men… (Vonnegut 10). “This line struck to the core of what War propaganda sought to convince the American people, that all soldiers were sexy, manly and worth admiring.

The effect “Slaughter House Five” has had on the media and society as whole is dramatic. During World War II, the thought of protesting the war would have been unheard of, and yet Vonnegut’s book is recognized in its own way as a subtle protest. In many ways it’s the first real public protest against World War II. The bi-product of this work has been protests against Vietnam and many of the other wars leading up to it and following it. Likewise, Kurt Vonnegut’s name has become a talking point for many political savvy or literary minded individuals. Mentioning Vonnegut in conversation implies that one is well read on contemporary socially conscious or political rhetoric, and yet the book was written over 30 years ago. In fact, despite the book being written so long ago, it is one of the top sellers among many of the American classics like “The Catcher in the Rye”, or “The Great Gatsby.” The acclaim of the book even resulted in Kurt Vonnegut getting his on television show, similar to Alfred Hitchcock’s Presents, or The Twilight Zone.  His ideals, mannerism, and perspective on topics beyond just his book became an integral part of American society.

In sum, “Slaughter House Five” brought on a new era of informed citizen about war. Old stereotypes of soldiers looking like Marlboro Men, having scruffy beards and standing tall and strong were abolished. Americans were forced to face the reality about their soldiers that they were just young boys, newly sent off to war and not the heroes they saw on the silver screen. Likewise, Slaughter House Five was one of the first of its type to depict war in gruesome detail. Afterwards films like “Apocalypse Now, ” and “Pulp Fiction” would follow the trend of using violence to make commentary on violence.  Kurt Vonnegut in many ways became an iconic literary figure entirely off the success of “Slaughter House Five”; but afterwards, his cynical perspective on war was adopted as an American ideology.

Work Cited

Vonnegut, Kurt. “Slaughterhouse-Five.” Randomhouse.com. Random House, 1969. Web. 22 Aug. 2012. <http://www.randomhouse.com/book/184345/slaughterhouse-five-by-kurt-vonnegut/>.

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Essay Samples & Examples

Human Trafficking, Research Paper Example

Human trafficking is definitely one of the most severe problems in contemporary society. “Annually, about 600,000 to 800,000 people – mostly women and children –are [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1058

Essay

Alternatives to Imprisonment, Essay Example

What alternatives to imprisonment exist to deal with non-violent criminals who are repeat offenders? The populations of prisons around the world and United States in [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 270

Essay

Immunity, Essay Example

What is meant by immunity? What are types of immunity? How does it work to insulate a defendant from criminal prosecution? “In legal contexts, immunity [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 259

Essay

Unappreciated Heroes, Essay Example

Though viewed by many as a great bastion of upward mobility for the black people and other minorities, the United States armed forces have not [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1445

Essay

Hepatitis C, Essay Example

In fact, Hepatitis C is a liver disease, which is caused by Hepatitis C virus, so called HCV infection. “HCV infection sometimes results in an [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 710

Essay

Plato’s The Apology, Essay Example

Plato’s The Apology is a description of the speech, which Socrates makes at the trial when charged with not acknowledging the gods accepted by the [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1264

Essay

Human Trafficking, Research Paper Example

Human trafficking is definitely one of the most severe problems in contemporary society. “Annually, about 600,000 to 800,000 people – mostly women and children –are [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1058

Essay

Alternatives to Imprisonment, Essay Example

What alternatives to imprisonment exist to deal with non-violent criminals who are repeat offenders? The populations of prisons around the world and United States in [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 270

Essay

Immunity, Essay Example

What is meant by immunity? What are types of immunity? How does it work to insulate a defendant from criminal prosecution? “In legal contexts, immunity [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 259

Essay

Unappreciated Heroes, Essay Example

Though viewed by many as a great bastion of upward mobility for the black people and other minorities, the United States armed forces have not [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1445

Essay

Hepatitis C, Essay Example

In fact, Hepatitis C is a liver disease, which is caused by Hepatitis C virus, so called HCV infection. “HCV infection sometimes results in an [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 710

Essay

Plato’s The Apology, Essay Example

Plato’s The Apology is a description of the speech, which Socrates makes at the trial when charged with not acknowledging the gods accepted by the [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1264

Essay

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!