Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

  Jason  Review by:  Jason

Title:  Slaughterhouse-Five

Author:  Kurt Vonnegut

Collection:  Adult Fiction

Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse Five, is often challenged because of “foul language, explicit depictions of deviant sexuality, and negative portrayals of women.” The novel, tells the story of Billy Pilgrim, a quiet and poorly trained American soldier who does not like wars, and his experiences after being captured by German soldiers in the Battle of the Bulge. While held captive, he experiences the bombing of Dresden, which killed 135,000 German civilians, from a safe bunker. Pilgrim also becomes “unstuck in time,” which gives the novel at times a nonlinear structure where Pilgrim experiences periods of his life both in the past and in the future.

Vonngeut explores the indiscriminate nature of death in the novel by illustrating the experiences that Pilgrim sees while a soldier in World War II. One of the more famous quotes of 20th Century literature is, “So it goes,” which Pilgrim utters when someone is experiencing death. The quote appears in the novel 106 times and not only does it describe the absurd and eventual nature of death, but it also helps to provide much needed comic relief. Slaughterhouse Five is not only an anti-war novel, but one that brings the reader much joy to read. Vonnegut is one of the funniest American writers of the 20th Century and his ability to shed light on many of the horrors of the human experience in a comedic manner not only makes you laugh out loud, but makes you think as well. Slaughterhouse Five is a breeze to read and is one of the most celebrated Post World War II novels in American Literature. Check it out!

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.  BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

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One Response to Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

  1. Pingback: Slaughterhouse Five « Okinawa Assault

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