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Here is some info on Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 11, 1922. After attending Cornell University from 1941-43 Vonnegut served in World War II and was captured during the Battle of the Bulge. As a prisoner of war, he survived the fire bombing of Dresden by Allied forces on 13 February, 1945 in an underground meat-storage cellar. When he emerged the next morning, Vonnegut was put to work pulling corpses from the ruins of the desolated city once known as “the Venice of the North.

In one night the horrific fire-bombing of Dresden killed more people than the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined, more than 135,000 in all. Vonnegut’s first-hand experiences of this, one of the darkest episodes in human history, would later provide the basis for his most influential work, Slaughterhouse Five (1969), though it would take him more than twenty years to come to terms with his wartime experiences and complete the novel. After returning from the war Vonnegut attended the University of Chicago as a graduate student in anthropology.

In 1947 he moved to Schenectady, New York, where he began to work on his first novel, Player Piano (1952), as well as a number of remarkably varied stories that would appear throughout the next decade in such magazines as Collier’s, Playboy, Esquire and Cosmopolitan. The story starts off with Kurt reminiscing about the pass and how he wrote this book. The main character is Billy. Billy is born in 1922 in Ileum, New York. He grows into a weak and awkward young man, studying briefly at the Ileum School of Optometry briefly before he is drafted. After minimal training, he sent to Europe right in the middle of the Battle of the Bulge.

He is captured behind German lines. That is where this story mostly takes place then there’s his wife who he meets later her name is Valencia. I chose this book well honestly I didn’t know what to read and this is what Mr. S suggested so I thought it would be good, but it just isn’t my type of book. Billy is the main Character I already talked about him in last paragraph, so you can just look there for more info on him. Kurt Vonnegut: The novelist inserts himself in the sections of Chapters One and Ten that frame Billy Pilgrim’s story. For many years, Vonnegut tried to write a book about Dresden but found himself unable to handle the project.

He appears within the Billy Pilgrim story very briefly, in the literary equivalent of a cameo. The framing sections are vital in clarifying Vonnegut’s goals in writing the novel, among them the publication of an anti-war book. Bernard O’Hare: Vonnegut’s old war buddy, captured with him and held as a POW in Dresden. Vonnegut looks him up years later so that they can reminisce about their war experiences. But the two men find they cannot remember anything good. Mary O’Hare: The novel is dedicated to her. She is Bernard’s wife and she initially views Vonnegut’s novel-in-progress critically, worrying that he will write a book that glorifies war.

Billy Pilgrim: An unconventional protagonist for a war novel, Billy is weak, passive, and often ridiculous. He is totally unsuited for war, and he nearly dies wandering behind German lines during the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he becomes an optometrist, marries a rich girl, and comes to believe that he has been abducted by aliens called Trafalmadorians. He is “unstuck in time,” meaning that he experiences the events of his life out of order again and again. Roland Weary: An anti-tank gunner who gets captured with Billy. Deeply lonely, he imagines war stories full of camaraderie and adventure.

Dumb, fat, and cruel, he dies of gangrene and blames Billy. Valencia: Billy’s wife. She is the overweight daughter of the owner of Billy’s optometry school. She is completely devoted to Billy. When Billy is injured in a plane crash, she dies of carbon monoxide poisoning on the way to the hospital. Barbara: Billy’s daughter. She is responsible for him after his injuries and Valencia’s death, and the burden makes her resentful and picky. Robert: Billy’s son. Through he was a troublemaker in high school; Robert goes on to be a Green Beret who fights in Vietnam.

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