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The Humorous Atrocities He Vonnegut had no taste for war and even less for being a survivor of it Blieler 553 When a person faces the hardships of life he must develop a way of dealing with the dark situation set before him Kurt Vonnegut one of Americas outstanding modern authors certainly dealt with the atrocities of life himself His experiences during the Great Depression his childhood and World War II helped mold his perspective on humanity Vonneguts means of coping with these horrific difficulties was to see the humor in the midst of tragedy Born in 1922 into a family who emigrated from Germany in 1848 Kurt Vonnegut was one of three children of Kurt and Edith Vonnegut who settled in Indianapolis Indiana The Vonnegut family prospered in a flourishing German-American society In his early teens however Vonnegut dealt with the first major setback of his life During the Great Depression his affluent lifestyle became a meager one His family was forced to move to a smaller less flamboyant house built by his father a successful architect Litz 754 The new economic circumstances formed by this Depression traumatized his parents His father later gave up on life and after Kurt Jrs enlistment his mother committed suicide in 1944 by taking an overdose of sleeping pills In a later interview Vonnegut confessed I learned a bone-deep sadness from them his parents Allen 2-3 In addition to the influences of his adolescence Vonnegut faced the brutality of war In 1944 Vonnegut was serving infantry duty in Europe when he was caught behind German lines at the Battle of the Bulge and sent to Dresden Germany as a prisoner In February 1945 the Allies unleashed a firestorm that essentially annihilated the historic city of Dresden killing nearly 135000 thousand people Luckily Vonnegut was working in an underground meat locker somehow emerging to the blasted landscape one of the few survivors Afterwards the prisoners were forced to excavate
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