Why Do You Think Kurt Vonnegut Included Himself as a Minor Character in the Novel Slaughterhouse-Five?
In the interview in The Daily Show to Jon Kurt Vonnegut announced “We`re terrible animals. I think that the Earth’s immune system is trying to get rid of us, as well it should”(Organization). From Vonnegut`s point of view, the war is the greatest form of absurdity, and I think with these words Kurt Vonnegut shown his attitude to people who started The World War II, who supported an idea of it. His novel is full of absurdity, the unreality of events, time traveling, and aliens from Tralfamador. Among all these absurd events there is one period of time that is real, it is war period of time. In this autobiographical period of time, we can notice our author as a minor character.
By mouths of minor characters, Vonnegut shows typical for those time viewpoint of militaries. He is one of the minor characters of his novel, incontinent soldier at German camp. He is narrator talking to us from the first person about his experience in the war. It gives us an opportunity to understand that this experience matches Vonnegut`s own biography. The narrator plays the role of an absurd person with brutal, deprived of stereotypes of European culture viewpoint. He sets reality but doesn`t try to interpret it. He denies himself the right of being demiurge of the world created by him.
Among all events of this novel, we can imagine something real, and I think Vonnegut made himself as minor character exactly of that period of time just to make an accent on that period of time. This way he caught reader`s attention on war events to show to a reader how real it was. “Vonnegut`s professes struggles in writing this novel… are the way he places his own autobiography into the story” (Klinkovitz 52). I think these words describe the best a technique of inserting himself a minor character. He wanted to show that he was the part of these events that was absurd the same as Tralfamador world or time traveling.
- Klinkowitz, Jerome. Structuring the void: the struggle for subject in contemporary American fiction. Durham (N.C.), Duke University Press, 1992.
- Organization. “Kurt Vonnegut – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Comedy Central, www.cc.com/video-clips/1q89v2/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-kurt-vonnegut. Accessed 11 Sept. 2017.
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