Monday, April 22, 2013

Slaughterhouse-Five, a literary analysis HACK

My absolute favorite part of junior year was reading "Cat's Cradle" by Kurt Vonnegut. 

I started reading it because it was assigned to me, so I thought, well, might as well give it A SHOT. Within the first couple chapters I was laughing and crying and all together QUESTIONING by very existence on this earth.

Because really, what is Postmodernism without the underlying existential crisis, amirite?

Anyway, my teacher for 11th grade english was moving to a foreign country (We miss you, NyNy!) so she was getting rid of all the books that had taken residence in her classroom. I stumbled upon "Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons" by Vonnegut, which was a collection of short stories and essays by the man himself. 

Since my book budget is very low recently (and I've been purchasing certain Shakespeare plays and Kafka on the Shore), I haven't had a chance to read other books by Vonnegut yet. But, i DID read Slaughterhouse over winter break and absolutely FELL IN LOVE with it.

It's more than just an anti-war novel. If anything, its more of a "war is a part of life and its ugly but since there's nothing we can change we have to accept it but you need to understand it first" novel. Vonnegut was an outspoken pacifist, and this comes out a lot in his writing. 

One of the more interesting things about Slaughterhouse-Five is how Kurt Vonnegut basically lived it. He was captured in Dresden and held in the ACTUAL slaughterhouse. It's debatable whether or not he is writing as himself in the book, but the events he describes he was there to witness. There's a very personal, edgy tone that he takes with the Dresden bombing, because he was there.

You may have seen a picture of my "So it goes" tattoo. 

Without giving a way too many spoilers, one of the pseudo-philosophies introduced into this book is that time is not chronological, but is one big picture. If one person dies, for example, they aren't really dead because all of the moments where they are alive still exist. "So it goes" is what they say when someone dies, because they cannot change it and they are still alive in those past moments. 

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