Sample Essay Outlines
The following paper topics are designed to test your understanding of the book as a whole and analyze important themes and literary devices. Following each question is a sample outline to help you get started.
- Topic #1
The argument that the message of Slaughterhouse-Five is to withdraw from the world has occasionally been predicated on the assumption that Vonnegut believes man is essentially evil. What view does Slaughterhouse-Five take of the nature of man—that we are good, evil, or amoral? How does the firebombing of Dresden fit in to your conclusion?
I. Thesis Statement: Although Slaughterhouse-Five depicts man as naturally good, the military’s code of amorality strips away natural compassion.
II. Humane actors
A. Edgar Derby
B. German civilians
C. German soldiers at rail yard
III. Cruel actors
A. “Rabid” Paul Lazzaro
B. German soldier at prison camp
C. Bertram Rumfoord
A. Residents are sympathetic
B. Lack of morality in Trout’s The Gutless Wonder
C. Bombing only possible when sympathy “circuits” are cut
- Topic #2
Vonnegut’s characters have been described as flat. Accepting the hypothesis that this is an authorial...
(The entire section is 298 words.)
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