A Farewell To Arms

From Ancient Greek playwright, Euripides, ("To die is a debt we must all of us discharge" (Fitzhenry 122)) to renowned Nineteenth Century poet, Emily Dickinson, ("Because I could not stop for Death/ He kindly stopped for me -/ The carriage held but just ourselves/ And Immortality" (Fitzhenry 126)) the concept of death, reincarnation, rebirth, and mourning have been brooded over time and time again. And with no definite answers to life's most puzzling question of death being given, it only seems natural that this subject is further explored. Kurt Vonnegut is one of many modern writers obsessed with this idea and spends many of his novels thematically infatuated with death. His semi- ...

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This cruelty stems from death, time, renewal, war, and the lack of compassion for human life; all large themes "inextricably bound up" (Bryfonski and Mendelson 529) in this cyclically natured novel that tries to solve the great mystery of death for us, once and for all.
Billy's life had revolved around these ideas from the time he was a child. At the age of twelve Billy "had undergone the real crises of his life, had found life meaningless even if he could not then articulate that concept, and was in desperate need for reinventing himself and his universe" (Bryfonski and Senick 615). These feelings stayed with Billy throughout the strange occurrences of his life. When still a baby in the eyes of many people, Billy was sent off to death's symbiotic partner war, fighting World War II in Europe. Here he is a depressed soldier who has seen too much death and destruction in order to function like a human being and wants to die, but like many other incidents in his life, he ...

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all sorts of deaths. Deaths of friends, deaths of people he has known for years. Dresden is fire-bombed causing a 135,000 person massacre. And how does he react? "So it goes" (Vonnegut 188), Billy says as he goes on with his daily affairs. He spends much of the rest of his life "actively disseminating that philosophy, first preaching it orally on the all-night radio program and then writing letters to the Ilium New Leader" (Bryfonski and Senick 615). But Vonnegut disagrees and "rejects the Tralfamadorian philosophy… [and] Billy's total "incapacity to understand the significance of the death of human beings" (Bryfonski and Senick 615). In Slaughterhouse Five, Vonnegut has 103 ...

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Added: 10/13/2008 09:33:29 PM
Category: English
Type: Free Paper
Words: 2173
Pages: 8

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