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Copy of Kurt Vonnegut
Transcript of Copy of Kurt Vonnegut
He began writing short stories in the late 1940s, and he achieved quick success. Because so many of his stories deal with science and social criticism, he has been dubbed a science fiction writer, although he has never liked that designation.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was born on November 11, 1922 in Indianapolis
For Vonnegut, no subject is off-limits. He writes about the brutality in human nature and our fears of technology, war, and politics.
Although he deals with devastatingly serious topics, his writing is easy to read. He often attacks his subjects with dark humor and wild absurdities.
World War II
In 1944, when he was 20, he joined the army and was drafted to Europe
During the Battle of the Bulge, he was captured by the Germans and brought to Dresden as a POW
On February 13, 1945 he witnessed how the British and American bombers destroyed the city by dropping high explosives followed by bombs resulting in the deaths of up to 60,000 civilians
Real Life to Fiction
Vonnegut's life has not always been easy.
His mother committed suicide while he was home on leave from the army .
He witnessed great destruction during the war and immediately afterward.
In 1958, his sister died of cancer.
Many of these wrenching experiences have found their way into Vonnegut's fiction.
In the following years Vonnegut published several novels additional to his short stories.
Some memorable novels include "The sirens of Titan" (1959), "Cat's Cradle" (1963), "God Bless you Mr. Rosewater" (1965)
His early novels weren't very successful due to Vonnegut's reputation as a science fiction writer
His M.A. in Anthropology was granted when he handed in "Cats Cradle" as his dissertation to the University of Chicago
Slaughterhouse-Five - Growing success as an author
In 1967 Vonnegut returned to Dresden to research for "Slaughterhouse-Five", which he published 2 years later
"Slaughterhouse-Five" became a bestseller and made him a famous living writer by the 1970s
It received large attention as an anti-war book and became cult in the anti-Vietnam war movement
Since it was published, Slaughterhouse-Five has been banned or challenged on at least 18 occasions.
After "Slaughterhouse 5" was published he went into severe depression and vowed never to write another novel. In 1984 he attempted suicide
Although Vonnegut has always been popular, he has not always been critically praised.
In the 1970s that changed.
He is now regarded as one of the most important writers of the late 20th century.
"Harrison Bergeron" was published in a 1968 collection of Vonnegut stories called Welcome to the Monkey House.
1. Review the defintion of a dystopia
2. Listen to "Harrison Bergeron"
3. Cite specific lines to show the story is futuristic and imagined.
4. Illustrate an image that shows oppressive societal control
5. What, do you believe, is the criticism of a current trend? Cite an example from the text and then give a real-world example
Find evidence for this being a dystopia
I can find evidence of my statement which requires distinguishing what is directly stated or hidden beneath the surface (RL.11-12.6)