Explication of Chapter 1
The Dresden bombings happened on February 13th and 15th in 1945. More than 3,900 tons of bombs were dropped on the city by the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force. Kurt Vonnegut starts off his book, Slaughterhouse Five, by telling us the story behind writing the book. He starts the story 23 years after the war while he is living in the United States. Post modernism started in 1946, after WW2, and post modernism is a style marked by the use of historical fiction; Vonnegut uses Historical fiction in his book when he gives us a false story based on true events, while his use of humor and his detached tone makes the events sound less horrifying, but still delivers his message against war. His style is direct, short, and flows like a train of thought. “He was up. He was reading. Everybody else in his house was asleep,” (Vonnegut 5). It is easy to see how his frequent use of asyndeton, which he uses to provide the reader with more details and images, makes it seem as if he is remembering this information while he was writing it, and that gives a natural flow as if it were his train of thought. His humor makes the book feel more personal and helps us come closer to the characters. He wants this book to feel natural, and he uses his personal perspective in the beginning to make the book feel like a story being told out loud instead of just a book being read.