Slaughterhouse-Five Questions and Answers
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Start Your Free Trial

In what ways is Slaughterhouse-Five an anti-war narrative?

Expert Answers info

Lawrence Rodman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write54 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Vonnegut initially struggled with his narrative approach in Slaughterhouse-Five. His war experience was so awful, and he had been so young, that a more literal and linear reconstruction eluded him. As he began to gather his ideas, he connected with a war buddy roughly twenty years after the fact: Bernard V. O’Hare. He and Vonnegut “were captured together during the war.”

Vonnegut, by his nature and vocation, needed to address what had happened to his generation of WWII vets.

The nicest veterans in Schenectady, I thought, the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who really fought.

During their exchange at O’Hare’s home, Bernard’s wife, Mary, accused Vonnegut of wanting to retroactively recast her husband and himself. They had basically been raw youths at the time, and she believed he wanted to recast them as Men, with a capital ‘M,’ with the intent of glorifying combat, such as in the John Wayne movie The Longest Day (a...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 487 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Bruce Bergman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor


calendarEducator since 2011

write3,640 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial