Slaughterhouse-Five

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Further Study

Companion Texts

Further Study Companion Texts

“Bombing of Dresden in World War II”

newworldencyclopedia.org

This encyclopedia entry describes the impact of and the reasons behind the bombing of Dresden, the event at the center of Slaughterhouse-Five . The entry also examines the case for naming the bombing a war crime, echoing Vonnegut’s implicit argument that the attack was not justified.

“Why Rape and Trauma Survivors Have Fragmented and Incomplete Memories”

time.com

This article explains what happens to the brain during a traumatic event, like the ones suffered by Billy Pilgrim and the narrator during and after World War II. This understanding of the “brain on trauma” can be useful in understanding the fragmented structure of Slaughterhouse-Five .

“The 1960s in America: Crash Course U.S. History”

youtube.com

In this video, author John Green talks about the 1960s in the U.S., covering everything from the Civil Rights movement to the anti-Vietnam War protests. Published in 1969, Slaughterhouse-Five came at the end of this tumultuous decade, and the novel can be read as a response to this combination of violence on both the domestic and international stages.

““How Betty and Barney Hill’s Alien Abduction Story Defined the Genre””

history.com

This article discusses the case of Barney and Betty Hill, who publicly claimed that they had been abducted by aliens. The Hills became very famous during the 1960s, the decade of the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five

“Kurt Vonnegut, The Art of Fiction”

theparisreview.org

In this 1977 interview, Vonnegut discusses his early life, his literary influences, and his war experience, including his capture by the Germans and the bombing of Dresden. The interview reveals that everything the narrator says in Chapter 1 of Slaughterhouse-Five is true—even the name Bernard V. O’Hare.