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Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut - Book Report/Review Example

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This review "Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut" focuses on describing the plot and main themes of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. The writer states that the theme of revenge plays a key role within the novel and analyzes the actions of the characters and the various communities involved…
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Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
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Download file to see previous pages It is revenge that drives several of the characters to their actions in both war and peacetime and it is revenge that is presented as the motivation behind the Allied firestorm in Dresden. To fully understand the key roles revenge takes within the novel as it is shown through the actions of the characters and the various communities involved, it is also important to understand some basic ‘real-world’ understandings regarding the emotional act of revenge from a philosophical and psychological point of view.
Several characters within the novel seem to have revenge as their central theme, notably Roland Weary and Paul Lazarro, although they aren’t alone. Both of these characters appear in the war as being PoWs along with Billy. It is largely due to the efforts of Weary that Billy survives to be picked up by German soldiers behind enemy lines rather than being shot, even though Billy continuously tells him to go on without him. However, Weary cannot allow Billy to fall behind because of his code of revenge for childhood traumas. “He had been unpopular because he was stupid and fat and mean, and smelled like bacon no matter how much he washed. He was always being ditched in Pittsburgh by people who did not want him with them. … When Weary was ditched, he would find somebody who was even more unpopular than himself, … and then he would find some pretext for beating the shit out of him” (33). Billy represented for Weary that less popular individual whom he would be able to strike when the inevitable happened and the scouts left them to strike through Germany on their own. He continued to punish Billy for his weaknesses, taking revenge upon him for interfering in the Three Musketeers dream-world Weary had established as they continued on their trek. “Now, lying in the ditch with Billy and the scouts after having been shot at, Weary made Billy take a very close look at his trench knife. … It had a ten-inch blade that was triangular in cross-section. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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