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Slaughterhouse-five relation of form to theme

            Slaughterhouse-five, written by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. The form is circular, because and the story seems to be cycle, rather than a sequence of events. This cycle lacks a beginning, climax, or end, and shows Vonnegut's rejection of the "grid-like outline of the story" (McGinnis 1). This style of writing emphasizes the themes of the novel, which are time and death. By writing a novel that is constructed so seemingly pointlessly, Vonnegut is free to explore the themes from the first chapter, rather than waste time on character development, setting, and explanations because they aren't required in order to understand his point. .
             By having a very abstract concept of time throughout the entire novel, the perception of time is questioned and accentuated in Vonnegut's cynical tone. He looks to fixity, which would prevent the flow of time. This "prevention of time flow" is obviously something that fascinates him, because the main character in the novel, Billy Pilgrim, is untouched by time flow. He is "spastic in time," and has the ability to time travel. He also travels to another world, Tralfamadore, which gives him a whole new concept of time and the cycle of life. Billy uses the Tralfamadorian philosophy in order to "escape from the concept of linear time, just as their novels are an escape from linear narration- (McGinnis 3). The Tralfamadorian books are written in just the style that Slaughterhouse-five uses. .
             Each clump of symbols is a brief, urgent message- describing a situation, a scene. We Tralfamadorians read them all at once, not one after the other. There isn't any particular relationship between all the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image which is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects (Vonnegut 88). .
             Vonnegut wrote his book in basically the same manner.

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