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Slaughterhouse-Five Essay | Critical Essay #2

This Study Guide consists of approximately 76 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Slaughterhouse-Five.
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Critical Essay #2

In the following excerpt, Harris examines the author-as-character, and the distancing and buffers set up by Vonnegut as self-protection.

Carefully read, Chapter One [of Slaughter­house-Five] emerges as a functional and illuminat­ing part of the novel as a whole. For the chapter contains passages that suggest three important facts crucial to a proper understanding of Vonnegut's novel: (1) the novel is less about Dresden than about the psychological impact of time, death, and uncertainty on its main character; (2) the novel's main character is not Billy Pilgrim, but Vonnegut; and (3) the novel is not a conventional anti-war novel at all, but an experimental novel of consid­erable complexity.

Billy Pilgrim, the putative protagonist of Slaughterhouse-Five, does not even appear in this chapter. Instead, the focus is on Vonnegut, the au­thor-as-character. Emerging is a portrait of the artist as an aging man, "an old fart...

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This section contains 1,802 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Slaughterhouse-Five Study Guide
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Slaughterhouse-Five from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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