How does Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughterhouse-Five satirize the United States as the country appeared during the time when the novel was written?
The novel Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is filled with satirical jabs at the United States and its relation to war and violence. The novel deals primarily with events that happen during World War II, but the novel itself came out in 1969, and thus was seen as a satire of America's involvement in the Vietnam War.
That war is discussed in chapter 3, when Billy Pilgrim attends the Lions Club lunch meeting and an American major proclaims that North Vietnam should be bombed. Billy survived the firebombing of Dresden during WWII and knows that bombing can bring forth terrible things, but he decides not to protest the major's words. Billy's silent acceptance of the major's speech may be Vonnegut's way of criticizing the indifference of Americans towards the cruelty of warfare, a feeling that most Vietnam War protesters sought to eliminate.
Not all of the satire in the novel pokes fun at the war, however. Chapter 5 features excerpts from a speech made by Howard W. Campbell Jr. (who later...
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