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  Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Review by: Michael B.
Georgia, Grade 10

Do you know about the firebombing in Dresden Germany at the end of World War 2 that killed about 20,000 people? In novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, author Kurt Vonnegut describes in rich details to describe the terrible bombing in Dresden that killed more people than those who have died in Hiroshima by atomic bomb.
Billy Pilgrim, the main character who is able to jump through time from mental breakdown, tells readers his experiences from war and his life. The fact that Billy Pilgrim is referring to the real experiences from Vonnegut, who was actual American survivor of firebombing in Dresden, makes this book truly interesting. Other than just the war, there are plenty more experiences that tell about Billy Pilgrim’s unique mind set on life and death.
As a historical science fiction, Slaughterhouse-Five deals with many known and unknown issues during World War 2 and postwar such as war in Europe and existence of aliens. The main theme of this novel is the physical and psychological impact on human by war. However, Vonnegut never tries to make it stand out. Instead, Vonnegut includes the main theme within his black humors.

Additionally, Vonnegut’s interpret of death as just part of never-ending cycle is one of the ‘special’ characteristics of Slaughterhouse-Five. This word ‘death’ is most prominent from Billy saying “So it goes” every time when there are death an individual or whole mass such as people in Dresden. The novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, is unique compare to other books in the same genre in ways that author’s effort to make terrible situations during the war as light and humorous happenings.
Now, in a world with no violence, humanity’s past experience of war and destruction is now remembered as one of the terrible mistakes in our history. But if you want to see the details and more of black humors from this author, Kurt Vonnegut, you’ll have to read the book.

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