Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Slaughterhouse Five 1969 One of his most popular works and widely
regarded as a classic, it combines science fiction elements with an analysis of the human condition from an uncommon perspective, using time travel as a plot device. The bombing of Dresden in WWII, the aftermath of which Vonnegut witnessed, is the starting point. Among the most frequently banned works in American literature Bombing of Dresden
British Royal Air Force (RAF) and United States Army Air Force (USAAF) between February 13 and 15th, 1945 Vonnegut and the war (From the NY Times)
(Vonnegut) was accorded the dubious pleasure of witnessing a 20th-century apocalypse During World War II, at the age of 23, he was captured by the Germans and imprisoned beneath the city of Dresden, "the Florence of the Elbe." Allies firebombed Dresden in a massive air attack that killed 130,000 people and destroyed a landmark of no military
significance Slideshow: http://www.fpp.co.uk/overflow/Dresden_gallery/ Literary Techniques The novel employs the refrain "So it goes" As a representative postmodern text, the novel is metafictional. Non-linear plot structure Verisimilitude soldiers cursing irreverent language (including the
sentence "The gun made a ripping sound like the opening of the zipper on the fly of God Almighty,") Non-linear structure The story is told out of order but there are only three decades through which the narrative (and Billy) jumps: 1940s The War. This is the only segment that moves consistently forward through timeeven as it is interrupted. 1950s post war. Billys wife and career
1960s/ Fourth Dimension Metafiction fiction that self-consciously addresses the devices of fiction. It is the literary term describing fictional writing that self-consciously and systematically draws attention to its status as an artifact in posing questions about the relationship between fiction and reality, usually, irony and self-reflection.
Other postmodern weirdness The story is sandwiched between an autobiographical introduction and epiloguethis sets up further uses of metafiction The Narrator/ Author divide is blurred The World of Vonnegut
Kilgore Trout, a major character in many of Vonnegut's novels, appears significantly in Slaughterhouse-Five. He is not real, but I have a copy of one of his novels over there. cameo appearances include Eliot Rosewater of God Bless You Mr. Rosewater Howard W. Campbell, Jr. of Mother Night. There is also a character called Bertram Copeland Rumfoord, a
relative of Winston Niles Rumfoord in The Sirens of Titan. Rumfoord family members appear in several of Vonnegut's works NY Times review, 1969: In the introduction, which should be read aloud to children, cadets and basic trainees, Mr. Vonnegut pronounces his book a failure "because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre." He's
wrong and he knows it. Respond to the following quote: Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. Its hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Its round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, youve got about a
hundred years here. Theres only one rule that I know of, babies God Damn it, youve got to be kind. Quotation Response What does this quotation mean to you? If you could rewrite the last sentence,
what would it be? What rule would you give to future generations? Kurt Vonnegut And so it goes. 1922-2007 http://www.fpp.co.uk/overflow/Dresden_gallery/ John Wayne
Frank Sinatra Tralfamadore Exists in the Fourth Dimension Tralfamadorians can see all time at once Think the idea of free will is ridiculous Not related to Billy being unstuck in time
Fourth Dimension In this Power Point, when I talk about STYLE terms will be yellow THEME will be red
LITERARY TERMS-- Style LITERARY TERMS YOU SHOULD KNOW Point of View (handout) Tone (handout) Imagery Surrealism Stream of Consciousness ___________ THEME (not style) Two areas of study:
STYLE and THEME STYLE refers to Formal aspects of the story; how the story is told. Deals with Point of View, Plot Structure, Tone, Imagery, etc. (Modernism experiments with style.) THEME refers to ideas or truths
about life. (These are also specifically Modern.) IMAGERY (Copy into notebook) A word or group of words in a literary work which appeal to one or more of the senses: sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell. The use of images serves to intensify the impact of the work. denotation
a literal meaning of the word connotation an association (emotional or otherwise) which the word evokes For example, both "woman" and "chick" have the denotation "adult female" in North American society, but "chick" has somewhat negative connotations, while "woman" is neutral.
For another example of connotations, consider the following: negative There are over 2,000 vagrants in the city. neutral There are over 2,000 people with no fixed
address in the city. positive There are over 2,000 homeless in the city. stream of consciousness
a narrative mode that seeks to portray an individual's point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character's thought processes: a loose interior monologue, characterized by associative leaps in syntax and punctuation that can make the prose difficult to follow.
often depicted as overheard in the mind (or addressed to oneself) or in connection to his or her actions. STYLE Refrain so it goes Point-connection Diction earthling massacre babies Motifslike themes or ideas that keep popping up
Recurring motifs/ imagery/refrains p. 4: "mustard gas and roses"; the phrase is repeated in other places in Sh-5.
I think this page has the first use of "babies"; note that word and its cognates babies are important in Sh-5. Note "And so on" and "Three Musketeers" (here, the candy bar); these phrases also recur in Sh-5. pp. 28-29: Note the "blue and ivory" of Billy Pilgrim's feet; the colors are another motif in Sh-5. Wearys Version of the War Story:
The Three Musketeers Anyone remember where we first heard that name? Princess Tone The writers or speakers attitude toward the subject and the audience. Understanding tone is crucial to
understanding the authors meaning boyfriend/girlfriend, a pair of spies, a parent and child, etc.: A: Youre late! B: I know. I couldnt help it. A: I understand. B: I knew you would. A: I have something for you. B: Really? What? A: This!
Diction: the authors choice of words and their connotations (the suggested meanings of the words) Details: the bits of information the author uses to tell the reader about setting, character, etc. Images: details that appeal to the senses Language: the overall quality of language in a work (formal, scientific, casual, etc.) Syntax: the construction of the sentences in a work (short, medium, long; simple, complex; etc.)
Tone is described with an adjective. Here are some Sentimental Fanciful Complimentary Condescending Sympathetic Contemptuous Apologetic Humorous
And on and on it went that duet between the dumb, praying lady and the big, hollow man who was so full of loving echoes.
--Chapter Six How does KV feel about Billys mom and Rosewater? How does he seem to feel about us? Does he hold back? Assume were sympathetic to him? To the characters?
How does he feel about the situation/events? THEME The main idea or underlying meaning of a literary work. A theme may be stated or implied. Theme differs from the subject or topic of a literary work in that it involves a statement or opinion about the topic. Not every literary work has a theme. Themes may
be major or minor. A major theme is an idea the author returns to time and again. It becomes one of the most important ideas in the story. Minor themes are ideas that may appear from time to time. Theme vs. Subject
It is important to recognize the difference between the theme of a literary work and the subject of a literary work. The subject is the topic on which an author has chosen to write. The theme, however, makes some statement about or expresses some opinion on that topic. For example, the subject of a story might
be war while the theme might be the idea that war is useless. Four ways in which an author can express themes are as follows: NUMBER ONE Themes are expressed and emphasized by the way the author makes us feel.. By sharing feelings of the main character you also share the ideas that go through his mind
Number TWO Themes are presented in thoughts and conversations. Authors put words in their characters mouths only for good reasons. One of these is to develop a storys themes. The things a person says are much on
their mind. Look for thoughts that are repeated throughout the story. Number THREE Themes are suggested through the characters. The main character usually illustrates the most important theme of the story. A good way to get at this theme is to ask yourself the question, what does the main
character learn in the course of the story? NUMBER FOUR The actions or events in the story are used to suggest theme. People naturally express ideas and feelings through their actions. One thing authors think about is what an action will "say". In other words, how will
the action express an idea or theme? Machines/ TechnologySo it goes. I have told them not to work for companies which make massacre machinery, and to express contempt for people who think we need
machinery like that. (19; ch. 1) The elevator kills the Veteran (senseless death) The Photograph the porn arrest leads to senseless death Weary iron maiden, triple-blade knife, the cannon Oh, and planes dropping bombs on Dresden Time P. 18 And I asked myself about the
present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much of it was mine to keep. P. 20 As an earthling, I had to believe whatever clocks said and calendars. it was written by a pillar of salt. Billy is unstuck in time. Tralfamadorians
Children/ innocence Childrens crusade Mary OHare Adam and Eve Perception Optometry Tralfamadorians Roland Wearys version of the war story Sinatra and Wayne More to come:
REVENGE CHRISTIANITY ( hypocrisy of some of them) Stupid, Roland Weary fat, and mean Dad collected torture devices
Brought his own knife to the war Hates being ditched
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