Explication of Chapter one
Chapter One in General
Analysis and Ideas of Rhetorical Elements
Vonnegut uses a captivating mixture of detached emotion and mirthless humor to create his own unique tone. He develops this unique style with a massive amount of syntactical strategies that augment and reinforce his tone and further the reader’s experience within the novel. Periodic and cumulative play a role in the novel by revealing and defining, as well as building up to and dazzling, the reader with information about Vonnegut’s life during and after the war. Asyndeton, for example, is used repetitively to casually slide the author into the plot through an overabundance of simple sentences. “He is short and I am tall. We were Mutt and Jeff in the war. We were captured together in the war,” (4). Polysyndeton also plays a strong role in the text by drawing the reader’s attention towards important sections of Vonnegut’s novel, such as his struggle with designing the plot of the novel. “One end of the wallpaper was the beginning of the story, and the other end was the end, and then there was all that middle part, which was the middle,” (5). These various strategies all build up to underline Vonnegut’s claim that life goes on and that it is not a human’s purpose to look back.
Expectations and Arguments
A motif used by Vonnegut was a line from a song he mentioned, the line being “My name is Yon Yonson”. The song told the story of the man, Yon Yonson, where he was from, where he worked, and when ever someone asked his name, the song would repeat and repeat, identified through the quote by Vonnegut, “My name is Yon Yonson, I work in Wisconsin. And so on to infinity” (3). The line was an analogy for Vonnegut writing his famous war book. Vonnegut knows he wants to write his war novel, and he knows he wants it to be about the air bombing in Dresden, and he also knows he wants true events to in the book, but that’s as far as he has gotten in 22 years, then he repeats his cycle. Another motif used by Vonnegut is the phrase “So it goes”. The phrase is said by Vonnegut after a death is mention. The death is typical described in two sentences and followed by “So it goes”. It’s Vonnegut’s way of identifying with the death, but acknowledges life does go on. The phrase is not meant to be detached, just understanding.