slaughterhouse-five thesis

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slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:46 am

working on my final essay for the book slaughterouse-five by kurt vonnegut, i'm planning on writting about like the "illusion of free will" or absurdness of war. which one's better any comments and idea wat the supporting points would be? i know that the absurdness of war is support by like the bird's random talk and the "so it goes" after every death any other ones?
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:41 am

Sorry, but we've never been much for doing other peoples' homework for them. Besides, in an assignment such as this the goal is not to find the "right" answer but for you to posit a thesis, find passages from the book that show your viewpoint, and explain to the reader why & how all of what you've picked as quotes supports your original statement. Unless you've actually done the process and backed up your own arguments, your paper just won't get a good grade.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 12:22 pm

Seconding the good Cap'n.

Whether or not Billy was a little crazy played a fairly big role in my Slaughterhouse essay. I don't remember much else about it.

Find a thesis and find ideas to support it. Feel free to find other sources to support your ideas, but don't look to others for the main points of your paper.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 12:55 pm

Don't get all defensive and flamey when we tell you to think for yourself, unlike that other idiot. That gets us a bit riled.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:12 pm

bthylafh wrote:Don't get all defensive and flamey when we tell you to think for yourself, unlike that other idiot. That gets us a bit riled.

Don't get all righteous whenever someone asks for help on their paper?
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:55 pm

Oh man, I am probably the BIGGEST Vonnegut gerbil here. I have read every one of his books except Hocus Pocus, his autobiography Fates Worse Than Death, and Palm Sunday. That is to say, I've pretty much read everything that he produced that is pure fiction, with the notable exception of Hocus Pocus (An equally enthusiastic friend of mine read that book and said that the protagonist was extra-sleazy.)

I envy you if you are writing a thesis on Slaughter-House Five: The Children's Crusade, but all in all I don't think it's his best book. Slaughter-House Five might've been his 5th or 6th... lemme check wiki... yup 6th. After reading the book, I certainly have a few notions about why it came to be more popular than his other books.

First off, Vonnegut was one of the extremely select people to have survived the bombing of Dresden, and the only first-hand survivor to have written it (for more on the subject, and for evidence of how much it had effected him, read God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.) I don't think saying "war is bad" would be enough in a thesis. Duh, war *is* bad, but you should note that most people gloss over the fact of who is dropping those bombs. Also, you should note that he points out that Dresden is of little strategic value to the Allied Forces, and is mostly full of the Arts. I would say that while Free Will is certainly a theme of many in Slaughterhouse-Five, *most* of his book put Free Will to the test. For better examples on the tragedy or illusion of Free Will, read the superb The Sirens of Titan or Cat's Cradle.

You might get disciplinary action for taking on what I'm about to suggest, and this thread might get locked or moved to R&P, but after some careful thought about Slaughterhouse-Five I'm willing to suggest that perhaps the quality of the book has nothing to do with its success. You should probably examine the political climate when that book came out. Why did it become required reading in highschools? It was even banned in a few particular school districts for use of the f-word (embarrassingly, *my* school district is one of those, although long before I was attending, and it had since lifted of course. They now have it in their curriculum). Now, we're taught exhaustively throughout our school curriculum but also in our movies and games the horror of the Holocaust and the PURE EVIL that is Nazis. I think it's possible that Slaughterhouse-Five was simply picked up as a small cog in the huge clockwork that is the anti-holocaust propaganda machine. I'm *not* suggesting the holocaust didn't happen. I'm suggesting that shoving it in our face so many times gives Israel a free pass to do the things they're doing today, or otherwise for Americans to (hypocritically) look the other way when bad things happen to Middle Easterners and in particular the Palestinians.

It's a bit of a stretch, and if you're going to take it on be prepared for *a lot* of resistance, but sometimes genius is controversial. Also, you can't, CAN'T half-ass it if your going to take that idea. You have to read up on things like Israel's territorial history, the Iran-Iraq war, etc.

In other words, I just gave you a bum apple and you're still going to have to work if you want applesauce. It's just a start.

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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:04 pm

Convert wrote:
bthylafh wrote:Don't get all defensive and flamey when we tell you to think for yourself, unlike that other idiot. That gets us a bit riled.

Don't get all righteous whenever someone asks for help on their paper?


Help? Fine. Don't expect people to just give you answers, is what I'm saying, and don't whine if you don't like our answers.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:29 pm

nah its all good, wat i meant to asked was if my outline looked good but looks like i forgot to attach the outline lol :oops:

okay so here's my plan:

Absurdity of WAR:
-billy pilgrim and wats his name survived but the 2 scouts got shot (by 3 gun shots)
-the giberish that the birds spoke (b.s about how there's no word for the destruction caused by war and how absurd it was)
- how americans were kept in the slaughterhouse (place of death), but they actually survived.

so lots of irony basically, does this outline sound reasonably or i have a commited a logical fallacy??

and ps. sorry if i offended anyone by asking for help, wasn't expecting like a essay done for me, i just have trouble coming up with the words that like describe my points
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:40 pm

stirker_0 wrote:nah its all good, wat i meant to asked was if my outline looked good but looks like i forgot to attach

so lots of irony basically, does this outline sound reasonably or i have a commited a logical fallacy??

and ps. sorry if i offended anyone by asking for help, wasn't expecting like a essay done for me, i just have trouble coming up with the words that like describe my points



I'm not sure if your outline clearly says War is absurd, per se, more like just dumb luck trumps everything. The birds aren't so much significant symbolism as much as they just serve as a pleasant cherry on top of the pile of surreal destruction in the wake of Dresden. Look up disaster tourism.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:44 pm

Ouch.. there goes my outline, well wat would u recommand then? i've been thinking about the "so it goes", is that significant in saying war is absurd? or no?
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:51 pm

stirker_0 wrote:Ouch.. there goes my outline, well wat would u recommand then? i've been thinking about the "so it goes", is that significant in saying war is absurd? or no?


Hm, not sure if I'd go with "so it goes" because IIRC that's a term he uses for a couple other books (Breakfast of Champions comes to mind).

I'm not sure "absurd" is the right word, and I would focus less on War and more about the human condition. Billy Pilgrim is by all accounts a very mundane man with just strange luck. He fumbles his way through WW2 and most of his life. He got a somewhat respectable job but his daughter sortof hates him and his wife is fat (though he doesn't mind the latter, which I find touching). The whole part about the aliens was just a way to explain the non-linearity of the plot, and to further explain the futility of free will. Did the parts with the aliens really happen? I'm not sure. What I do know is that the events of this book actually are kindof like a first-person version of TimeQuake--even though Timequake came out MUCH MUCH later. TimeQuake had you sortof removed from any single protagonist, and let you watch freewill-illusion from afar.

That's not really much, I'm just trying to get you to think about the book.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:44 pm

stirker_0, this is just my humble opinion, but you might want want to learn how to use capital letters before writing your "thesis". You won't get any points for including non-words like "u" and "wat", either. And grammar is always nice (at least, mine is; she bakes cookies).

Suffice to say, I don't think that your choice of topic is particularly important if you can't write. It's a bit like seeing a beggar begging for gasoline money at a gas station that's out of gas, while resting on a rusted-out Pinto and holding a holey gas-can. I jus' ain't gonna give 'im no money.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:18 am

What's with these forums and the general disdain/criticism for ANY sortof of *academic* advice? I've gotten all sorts of different kinds of advice here, from the expected computer/upgrade related, to job, and even really obscure left-field stuff like spiders. However anytime ANYONE, myself no exception, asks for some sort of advice that has academic applications people get their panties all twisted up.

What's up with that? It's advice, people. Not "hey give me the answers/not interested in the learning process." I don't see how such a stark double-standard could exist among a fairly affluent web-population.

/done thread jack.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:34 am

Please note that my post was advice.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:20 am

Saber Cherry wrote:Please note that my post was advice.


If you use the word "advice" loosely, yes. You really think his web-etiquette carries over when he's writing a paper? He doesn't use spellchecks or proper grammar? That's all material suggestion at best, and really came across as a condescending put-down. Just more of the white-noise that everyone receives around here when it comes to academia.

Read: His question was how to go about a thesis on Slaughterhouse-Five. Not, "hey how do I write a paper?" So, your post ≠ advice.

I didn't want to single you out because you're clearly not the only perpetrator.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:21 am

Well, I don't want to drag this out into a slugfest that totally derails the topic, so I'll desist after this post. But my 'advice', however poorly the term fits, also carried a hidden message. It is this:

If someone comes to me asking for advice, and I am able to give it (or sometimes even if I'm not), I usually will give that advice happily - because I enjoy giving advice.

But if someone comes to me asking - in an extremely lazy manner - for me to do work for them, without the slightest bit of effort to even write clearly, I'm offended. Consider a request for a non-trivial loan from a somewhat distant relative. The request could be polite, well-worded, hand-written neatly on clean paper and sent in the mail, with an enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope for your reply. And it could be a cell-phone text message, containing only the cryptic phrase 'hey could u give me money. i need it quik :-?'

Maybe you would give them equal weight. But I wouldn't. Not simply because I find one offensive, but also because I find the other to be more meritorious. I've tutored mentally lazy people, and as much as I enjoyed tutoring those who tried hard and even did their homework, I hated tutoring the lazy ones, since it was a waste of my time and theirs. I try to avoid doing work for mentally lazy people for free, but I don't mind pointing them in what I consider to be the right direction (give a man a fish...), though I don't usually do so directly because I don't want to waste my time with the ensuing confrontations. The sooner 'stirker' learns that people like me exist (assuming that fact puts a dent in his mental laziness, which I doubt), the better off he'll be in life, and the better the world will be because of it. And whatever people may explicitly claim, only a small percentage of people I've met have a different philosophy on the matter (and are utterly equal in their desire to help everyone). Those people are typically devout Christians and/or employed in select fields such as teaching, medicine, social services, and a few more. I won't say that such people are morally better than people like me, or equal, or worse; but I strongly believe that they are far fewer.

I am sure you gave excellent advice on writing about Vonnegut's books. But just as you consider my post unworthy to be classified as advice, I consider this advice to be far more important than the eventual outcome of his paper, even if it was initially oblique.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:01 pm

just FYI, i do not use web talk when writting essays, i just find web talk more "relaxing" shall we say. and stirker_0, yeah that was a type :oops: it was suppose to be striker or something similar which i don't remember... and who said i'm lazy, do u know how much research i've put into this thing already??!! and in reality, people like u (saber cherry) are the majority (would explain how sad this world is). i don't plan on changing people like that but i do know one thing, the world changes, people need to get used to these "slangs". Even if i use these slangs, doesn't mean i'm not showing respect, or looking at u lightly, it just says how comfortable i am in this forum :wink: .

p.s. i don't use spell check that often, for hmwk i actually print and check it over by hand
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:31 am

stirker_0:
Using AOL-speak on a forum is the Internet equivalent of going to a party with unwashed armpits. It's inconsiderate, everyone notices (even if they decline to say anything), and most people over the age of 15 know better. I'm willing to join Saber Cherry in discarding social grace to say "You stink."

Sure, there are sites out there with members out there who aren't as anal about posting format. I challenge you to post your question on Myspace or Gaia Online and compare the output. You'll find a correlation between coherency and insight: people who put some thought into a post typically care enough to make it readable.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:41 am

cud u do my hmwk 4 me?? ur awsm, kthxby
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:21 pm

ssidbroadcast wrote:What's with these forums and the general disdain/criticism for ANY sortof of *academic* advice?

I think only a couple of posters actually care, the rest just like bandwagons and the opportunity to act righteous.

I know where they are coming from; school usually isn't the easiest thing to get through and is a great accomplishment to complete. A free ride cheapens it for everyone. As I have said before though, if no one wants to give help the thread will die on its own. As it is people seem waiting to pounce on the threads as they come up only because it has been deemed acceptable by the mods. That's just my twisted opinion anyways.


Also, to me, writing as if you are talking on AIM isn't as bad as acting like jerks. <- and no "jerks" is not the word I used. Although sometimes I really wish that word was allowed.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:30 pm

ssidbroadcast wrote:I think it's possible that Slaughterhouse-Five was simply picked up as a small cog in the huge clockwork that is the anti-holocaust propaganda machine. I'm *not* suggesting the holocaust didn't happen. I'm suggesting that shoving it in our face so many times gives Israel a free pass to do the things they're doing today, or otherwise for Americans to (hypocritically) look the other way when bad things happen to Middle Easterners and in particular the Palestinians.


:roll:

He'd get a bad grade because turning Slaughterhouse 5 into a rant about how the Israelis are getting away with murdering Palestinians because of the "holocaust propaganda machine" deserves a bad grade.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:36 pm

Here is what I learned in writing a thesis on a particular work..... argue the opposite of the author or what is expected. Be contrarian. Write the he is inconsistant. Or argue that he deserved to be bombed. I'm not say you should believe it, but pick something you can justifiably argue. You get more kudos for being original and having a different viewpoint.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:58 pm

Glorious wrote:
He'd get a bad grade because turning Slaughterhouse 5 into a rant about how the Israelis are getting away with murdering Palestinians because of the "holocaust propaganda machine" deserves a bad grade.


If you read the body of his work you'd understand that Slaughterhouse-Five isn't his best book. If you read Mother Night, which talks a bit more about the holocaust and the war, you'd understand that villains and heroes aren't exactly as they appear. If you read Bluebeard (the Vonnegut book), you'd understand that art and artists are completely made by accidents and the tastes of society at the time. Western society spent much of its time trying to wash away its guilt after the war.

It might be a bit extreme to suggest that his success directly corresponds to the practiced forethought of the Jewish people, nonetheless I'd argue that it is the result of WW2-guilt. That's a bit more reasonable.

theEmrys wrote:Here is what I learned in writing a thesis on a particular work..... argue the opposite of the author or what is expected. Be contrarian. Write the he is inconsistant. Or argue that he deserved to be bombed. I'm not say you should believe it, but pick something you can justifiably argue. You get more kudos for being original and having a different viewpoint.


Yeah exactly.

Convert wrote:As it is people seem waiting to pounce on the threads as they come up only because it has been deemed acceptable by the mods. That's just my twisted opinion anyways.


Yeah if that's the case: What gives, mods?
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:06 pm

That's an easy question to answer: it's also how the mods themselves feel about it. Captain Ned was the first person to post in the thread, which pretty much gave any bandwagoneers (myself included) a free shot.

And there's nothing wrong with asking advice if you can show you've already done a reasonable amount of work. This dude put together an inkling of two ideas and hadn't put much more thought into it than that.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:21 pm

ssidbroadcast wrote:
Convert wrote:As it is people seem waiting to pounce on the threads as they come up only because it has been deemed acceptable by the mods. That's just my twisted opinion anyways.
Yeah if that's the case: What gives, mods?

There is no mod policy on this one way or the other. I think the forum members are capable of working these things out within the confines of the existing rules without having moderators intervene.

derFunkenstein wrote:Captain Ned was the first person to post in the thread, which pretty much gave any bandwagoneers (myself included) a free shot.

That doesn't mean you have to be a dick about it.

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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:24 pm

Dude, now you're calling people dicks?

Oh, I forgot, "acting like" one isn't a personal attack. :roll:
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:13 pm

My apologies, I was only trying to describe your behavior, it was not intended as a personal attack. I strongly take issue with assumptions regarding moderator policy when such policy does not exist, especially when people then assume that "free shots" are then appropriate, and I overreacted.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:44 pm

ssidbroadcast wrote:If you read the body of his work you'd understand that Slaughterhouse-Five isn't his best book.


I read Breakfast of Champions and Slaughterhouse 5 and came to the conclusion that's he's horrifically overrated.

ssidbroadcast wrote: If you read Mother Night, which talks a bit more about the holocaust and the war, you'd understand that villains and heroes aren't exactly as they appear.


I imagine it's the briefest preview of ideas better expounded in other books, as I haven't found anything particularly illuminating in the two books of his that I have read. What I have found is that people's love for Vonnegut tends to be inversely proportional to their exposure to everything else. To me, that's a warning sign to not waste my time.

ssidbroadcast wrote:If you read Bluebeard (the Vonnegut book), you'd understand that art and artists are completely made by accidents and the tastes of society at the time. Western society spent much of its time trying to wash away its guilt after the war.


I'm not entirely sure how those two sentences are related.

ssidbroadcast wrote:It might be a bit extreme to suggest that his success directly corresponds to the practiced forethought of the Jewish people, nonetheless I'd argue that it is the result of WW2-guilt. That's a bit more reasonable.


Whose success? Vonnegut's? I'm not sure how what he writes is even on the vaguest periphery of the guilt-trip that allegedly justifies Israel. He certainly has a number of noxiously ignorant opinions about suicide bombers, and he used a notorious holocaust-denier's dubious figure for the dead of Dresden, but other than that, what?

Like I said, if someone wrote a paper like that about Slaughterhouse 5 I'd give them a bad grade for essentially ignoring the the book in favor of pursuing some previously-decided idelogogical agenda.
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:00 pm

oh wow.. wasnt quite expecting this, editted my thesis

The paradox and exaggeration of slaughterhouse-five emphasize the senselessness of war

question is does this sound like a thesis to you people or is it not even a sentence... ??

and oh yah it even says in the first chapter "This one is a failure, and had to be, since it was written by a pillar of salt. " (Vonnegut 22)
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Re: slaughterhouse-five thesis

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:19 pm

Kevin wrote:My apologies, I was only trying to describe your behavior, it was not intended as a personal attack. I strongly take issue with assumptions regarding moderator policy when such policy does not exist, especially when people then assume that "free shots" are then appropriate, and I overreacted.

it's cool, we both jumped to conclusions, we'll never speak of this again. ;)
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