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Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

             was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 11, 1922. He was the son of successful architect Kurt Vonnegut and Edith Lieber. Kurt and Edith Vonnegut were young, glamorous, and relatively affluent, getting married in one of the largest and costliest weddings in Indianapolis history (1, p.15). As children of a wealthy family the two eldest Vonnegut children were educated in private schools. Kurt Jr., however, was pulled from the private Orchard school in third grade and placed in Public School No.43. This was due to his parents having exhausted their fortune and heavily mortgaged their house during The Great Depression (1). Kurt Jr.'s mother Edith tried to reassure her son that when the Depression ended he would resume his proper place in society, but Kurt thrived in his new surroundings (2,1). He later said, "She could not understand that to give up my friends at Public School No. 43 would be for me to give up everything,"(2,2). Kurt had become to feel uneasy about prosperity and associating with members of his parents" class after learning a bit of idealism at his public school. This idealism was often reflected in his writings. His experiences, it seems have always helped shape his style and themes of writing, especially important was his life growing up as a boy in Indianapolis. Revisiting his birthplace in 1986, Kurt Jr. stated, "All my jokes are in Indianapolis. All my attitudes are Indianapolis. My adenoids are Indianapolis. If I ever severed myself from Indianapolis, I would be out of business. What people like about me is Indianapolis." (2,3). This connection has not escaped notice by readers, for most of his works contain at least one character from Indianapolis. .
             Vonnegut's time in Indianapolis schools not only helped instill a sense of ideals and pacifism in him, but it also got him on his was to a writing career. While attending Shortridge High School from 1936 to 1940, Vonnegut during his junior and senior years edited the Tuesday edition of the school's daily newspaper, The Shortridge High School Echo (2,4).

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