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Free «Slaughthouse-Five» Essay Sample

The passage from the book reveals the whole idea of the novel itself based on irrationality of people and illogical actions of human beings. Vonnegut says that behavior different is governed not merely by language, but by an entire attitude. For Billy’s plight, at once serious in nature and ludicrous in expression, is representative of the general dramatic situation in which the characters find themselves. The passage shows that serious moral disorder and heralds personal destruction, and yet at the same time they are made ridiculous by their dramatic context and expression. Billy cannot control his life and actions so he is destined to sufferings. At the same time, the suffering of innocent figures is mitigated in the eyes of the audience by the secure knowledge that the ultimate outcome will be more than just compensation for the violence involved. The passage reveals the idea that a man is irrational creature unable to guide his life and change a situation for better. This principle seems to be most relevant to the treatment of suffering and evil. In the great sweep and expanse of the structure of the novel, the sweep that takes in all history from the creation to the last judgment, a dramatic context is provided which establishes the viewpoint from which the audience may judge and interpret each incident or pageant in the whole. Furthermore, from the perspective of eternity, all nature and all history take part in a universal power, the glorious and just end of which is determined by the providence. In the long-range scheme of things, evil is essentially both impotent and vulnerable; hence the possibility of looking at it as a laughable degradation. This idea arises from the proposition that all being is ultimately good. Hence, it is only by virtue of a lack of being, a default of being, or a denial of being that violence can be explained.


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