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Examining Vonneguts Slaughter-House Five in order to Discover the Authors Pacifist Motivations War plays a significant role in shaping human history The fires of war can temper a man until he is unbreakable or they can melt him with their heat For Kurt Vonnegut the flames of war do something extraordinary They burn away his ability to accept the atrocities that humans direct toward one another They galvanize his mind removing any doubt as to the treacherous legacy that comes with the violence of war Most importantly they brand into his mind the images and events that would be the inspiration for a masterpiece Kurt Vonneguts Slaughter House Five is a modern parable written to express the authors anti-war sentiments and expose the absurdity of violence Kurt Vonnegut begins his classic novel with a preface that belies the genius of the piece Smith 83 This preface contains in its mere twenty two pages all of the values and ideals from which Vonnegut writes his story By telling the reader of the events that preceded the writing and publication of Slaughter-House Five Vonnegut illustrates the very morals of his story before the reader even starts into the narrative Smith 89 Even the title of the novel explains the values which Vonnegut is applying to the bombing Vonnegut a captured soldier held hostage in a slaughter-house is ironically among the only survivors of the bombing of a peaceful city Gianonne 82 When opening his novel Vonnegut speaks to the reader as one would to an old friend modestly and sincerely He tells the reader about the troubles he faced trying to write what should have been such an easy book The topic of Dresden is so big yet no words come to him not enough to fill a book anywa y Vonnegut 2 Vonnegut explains in his own unique way that Dresden is a tragedy that is not justifiable that it is not something that he
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