I have decided to my oral on a darkly satirical antiwar novel by Kurt Vonnegut.
Kurt Vonnegut was born on the 11th of November 1922 in Indiana, America. After completing school, he initially decided to attend university but then dropped out in 1943, opting to enlist in the United States Army instead. He didn’t however fully abort his studies. As a part of his military training, he managed to study mechanical engineering too which he successfully completed. He was then deployed to Europe during World War II where he was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. The Germans sent him to a city called Dresden where they forced him to intern as a prisoner of war at war-supporting factories. Dresden was bombed by the allies in 1945 but Vonnegut found refuge in a meat locker, allowing him to secure his safety. After the war, Vonnegut married Jane Marie Cox with whom he had 3 children. He later adopted his sister’s three children too as she and her husband had both died. Vonnegut then took interest in writing, releasing his first novel in 1952. In the following twenty years, he released several novels. However, it was only his 6th novel, Slaughterhouse-Five that made the breakthrough. The anti-war sentiments found in this book resonated with readers amidst the ongoing Vietnam War. This book has won many awards, been rated as one of the 100 best novels of all time and is one of my favourite too so, very rightly, it will be the focus of my oral.
The storyline revolves around one main character, Billy Pilgrim, a considerable cowardly man who has become unstuck in time. The book takes us from New York to the Battle of Bulge in Belgium to the Infamous Dresden Firebombing and even to a fictional planet called Tralfamadore which is inhibited by aliens. As the book progresses, Billy experiences time-shifts where he travels to different periods of his life and not necessarily in the correct order. The novel is able to get the story across very well. Although it is difficult to do this, the novel is perfectly structured in small sections, each only being several paragraphs long, that describe the various moments of his life.
The book centres on Billy Pilgrim to such a degree that it excludes the development of...