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Slaughterhouse Five or The Childrens Crusade - a Duty-Dance with the Devil - Book Report/Review Example

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"Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children’s Crusade - a Duty-Dance with the Devil" paper focuses on the book which follows the story of Billy Pilgrim as he travels haphazardly through his life, coming back to his touchstone, the firebombing raid on Dresden while he was a POW in that city during WW II. …
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Slaughterhouse Five or The Childrens Crusade - a Duty-Dance with the Devil
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Download file to see previous pages Although there are several major themes to be followed throughout the book, Vonnegut portrays his characters in such a way as to paint revenge as an integral part of the storyline. 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. Vonnegut, a prolific and celebrated author died early this year. An icon for the counterculture of the 1960s, some of his more acclaimed of his more than a dozen works include Cat’s Cradle, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, The Sirens of Titan and Jailbird.

There are several characters within the novel Slaughterhouse-Five that 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 personal 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.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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