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Mustard Gas & Roses

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Victor Machin

on 20 March 2014

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Transcript of Mustard Gas & Roses

Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Country : United States
Language: English
Genre : Dark comedy
Science fiction
War novel
Publisher: Delacorte
Publication date:
This novel can be summarized as the external perspective of the overall framework of humanity
Background Introduction
This literary structure is similar to symbolism in the novel. However, Typification tends to refer more to an indivisual and characterize in detail.
In reference to the thematic material, "mustard gas and roses" exemplifies a direct link to the past of Billy Pilgrim. In other words, his physical and mental tonicity was questionable long before the war and the tralfamadorians.
For example, the scene in the novel where Billy goes back in time to his childhood. ".. Litte Billy was terrified, because his father had said Billy was going to learn to swim by the method of sink or swim," . (Chp.2, Pg.43)
My point being that the smell of "mustard gas and roses" ,that represents Billy's lack of mental well-being, also represents his past as well as the war.
The Motif (mustard gas and roses) ,that is repeated throughout the novel, symbolizes all of the war that has perturbed Billy Pilgrim's physical and mental well being
The term "mustard gas and roses" consists of two diametrically opposed words. Moreover, Billy mixes the smell of chemicals weapons and the symbol of romance.
In reference to all of the other themes, "mustard gas and roses" represents the idea that no part of this story is secluded from any other. Each section, as short and compressed as it may be, relates to the contemplation of warfare and its consequences.
Themes/Motifs in Slaughterhouse- Five
Mustard Gas & Roses
In other words, many of the themes can be characterized using the term "outsider looking in".
This is relevant to many contrasting themes in Slaughterhouse-five because of the main character(Billy Pilgrim) and his exposure to the Tralfamadorians(extra -terrestrials)
One of these Themes in which I will elaborate on , is that of Mustard Gas and Roses. This theme represents a form of Symbolism,Imagery, & Typification(Indirect representation) throughout the novel.
Textual evidence of symbolism/Imagery:
"Billy answered. There was a drunk on the other end. Billy could almost smell his breath—mustard gas and roses. It was a wrong number. Billy hung up," . (Chp. 4,Pg. 73)
"... He doesn't ,mind the smell of mustard gas and roses," . (Chp. 1 , Pg. 7)
"They didn't smell bad at first, were wax museums.But then the bodies rotted and liquefied, and the stink was like roses and mustard gas," . (Chp. 10,Pg.214)
Imagery is Vonnegut's most preeminent literary tool used in Slaughterhouse-Five.
This repetition of description establishes the connection between the "Billy Pilgrim" section of the novel and Kurt Vonnegut's personal memoirs.
The broad sense of Imagery in Slaughterhouse- Five expatiates on the Irony that is used throughout the book (situational, verbal, dramatic).
The authors purpose is to allure or entice the reader into thinking in a more lateral manner . In other words, the novel extrapolates the standards for science fiction by illustrating an Image of life that is meaningful and deep. Vonnegut also manages to entertain the reader with humor throughout the book.
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