Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five As An Example Of Postmodern Literature

After modernism, postmodernism was born. This term can be used as a description of a historical period. This term can also be used as a reference to a group of ideas. Postmodernism refers to a thought trend that emerged in America after World War II and in Europe. Postmodernism can be defined as both the real and imaginary side of an idea. It also refers the other sides of phenomena and existence. Literature, art fiction, philosophy, architecture and fiction are all considered postmodernism. It is a reaction against the objectively or scientifically accepted certainty of truth-clarification attempts. It is associated with skepticism. Postmodern literature is literature that has literary rules. These include fragmentation, paradoxes, unreliable narrations, unrealistic and impossible images, games and parody. It is impossible to know an unchangeable truth. People and special interest groups use the controversial concept to gain power. Morality for them is personal. Postmodernists believe in the relative nature of ethics. They place morality under personal interpretation. They define each person’s unique code of ethics, without following traditional values or rules. Meta-fiction, interest or meta-fiction in other cultures. Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, is an example postmodernism.

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five was published in the Vietnam War period. Slaughterhouse Five uses fragmentation as a postmodern feature. Vonnegut is a great postmodern writer and uses fragmentation well. This technique shows Vonnegut’s anti-war sentiment. The author depicts Billy’s fragmented personality. The author stated that time was fragmented. The author shows this fragmentation in the Slaughterhouse Five. Because of this fragmentation, time has no past, future, or present. This text also shows a fragmented narrative style. The story was told using non-linear narratives. This means that the story has no beginning, middle or end. The story’s middle is where it begins, then it returns to its beginning. Billy is a fractured character. He does not have control over the time travel. He claimed that he could see into the future and past using time travel. However, it was all a hallucination. Flashback and forward were both used in a narrative method. Flashback allows the author to show us the events that took place in Billy’s past. The author first shows the present time, then the past. Slaughterhouse Five metafiction was used by the author. Vonnegut is speaking directly to readers in the first section and the last section, respectively. Irony was used by the author in his novel. Vonnegut’s text is full of irony. As the priest’s assistant, he is unable to help his friends or harm enemies. It is ironic that he must help his war-loving friends and help the wounded. Another irony comes in the form of Billy, Weary, two cynical guys lost in a snow forest. Two scouts Billy, Weary and their companions are left behind by Weary and Billy because they believe Weary will cause them danger. Ironically, the two scouts Billy and Weary were killed by gunfire, despite them having more military expertise than Billy and Weary.

Kurt Vonnegut used dark humor, irony and humour in Slaughterhouse 5. The novel allows readers to both understand the horrors caused by war, and also laugh at some of their absurdities. Vonnegut’s main goal is to make the reader accept the reality that nothing can be changed. Postmodernism has a profound effect on Slaughterhouse Five. It makes it difficult to question the subjectivity of the storyteller and compare his omnipotent powers. Tralfamadorians can be described as alien creatures possessing powers. The narrator demonstrated how subjective storytelling can be. The narrator reaffirmed to the reader that fiction and staging are both part of the novel. The Tralfamadorians showed the narrator’s ability reading minds and to travel in time, space, and both. Billy Pilgrim was unable to control his perception of time. The narrative structure and his life are both fragmented. The author used absurd and ironic humor as a description of Billy’s life. He contrasted historical accounts with historical metafiction. The novel ends with no victory over evil. Billy Pilgrim does not understand why. While there is no universal morality, the author offers a postmodern perspective that illuminates the horrors of humanity. Magic realism is used to describe the abduction and subsequent rescue of Billy Tralfamadorians.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote Slaughterhouse Five during the Vietnam War. This book embodies the core features of postmodernism. The author presents the only escape from the dark humor that comes with the notion of a meaningless, rotten, world. The story of Billy Pilgrim is told in this novel. It contains traces of Vonnegut’s memories from the Second World War. Billy is constantly going back and forward, but he eventually learns to be more focused on the positive than the negative. Slaughterhouse-Five has both science fiction and apocalypse. The novel has elicited many reactions among readers. The novel contains postmodern features, such as magic realism and historiographical metafiction.


  • stanleybyrne

    Stanley Byrne is a 26-year-old education blogger and teacher. He has degrees in education and political science from the University of Notre Dame and has worked in various teaching and research positions since he graduated in 2014. He is the author of a number of educational blog posts and has written for Huffington Post, The Guardian, and Salon.