A Duty Dance with Death



Its 1967, and the world is bustling with new inventions. The Vietnam war has started, death is all over the world, shading it red. Americans have lost hope, with many massacres, and the blacks have begun to stand up, while the baby boomers are being born. Vonnegut makes the atmosphere a dull but interesting way to catch the reader's attention. The book is very unemotional, but when there is emotion it is very easy to catch because he rarely uses it. The war has made him depressed but not completely gone to the world. He goes back thorugh time, remembering each and every detail. Flashbacks come and go, transporting himself through his memories. Vonnegut tends to pull you in but at the same time he enforces you to keep reading with his stolid attitude. Vonngut chooses to detach himself because he wants the reader to fully understand the meaning behind each and every phrase.

"So it goes"

Vonnegut is aware of the tone and word use in his novel. He does it to impact and capture our attention. Sorrow, confusion, desperation, and a various others are felt throughout the novel. His ideas shape the way he writes but also how we percieve the story. Hypotaxis and parataxis are widely used in the reading.

EX. "We were captured together in the war. I told him who I was on the telephone. He had no trouble believeing it. He was up. He was reading" (Vonnegut 4). - Parataxis

EX. Then we were sent home, and I married a pretty girl who was covered with baby fat,too" (Vonnegut 7). - Hypotaxis

The phrase "So it goes" is presented everywhere in the novel. His expression towards it is as if it is a wave of calmness for his sanity.

Billy Pilgram

Vonnegut infiltrates many pathways, one leading to another. He sets it up in a way that it seems magical. He imports a limerick into the story, filling it with humor. It is also the only time he will ever input an amusing detail. Vonnegut is explaining how he views the world form this character he has created. He pupetiers Billy, somewhat. He starts at the end of his story to trail back and walk through his memories. He gives us insight on all the things that will happen and that will happen eventually. He is trying to stop something that was going to happen either way.


"So it goes"

"Mustard gas and roses"

"And so on."



Many others are mentioned in the novel, but these are the most noticable ones. He may use them to refer to something specific that we should pay attention to. Vonnegut wants us to pay special attention to certain motifs that will maybe later on cause us to realize that specific idea.