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Literature & Language
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Slaughterhouse-Five Literature & Language Essay Paper (Essay Sample)


How is science fiction used in this novel to explore larger themes? Unpack a few specific examples.
Write a 3-4 page (double-spaced) analysis of Slaughterhouse-Five.
Note for all college essays: 3-4 pages means 3 full pages to 4 full pages. If the third page is only half full, you have only written 2.5 pages.
Submission details:
Please do not put your name on your paper; I prefer to grade anonymously.
Please DO include the question you're answering at the top of your paper (instead of a traditional heading).

A good structure for this essay might be:

Set up the question
Overview the "typical" or most straightforward answer/interpretation of the question, and then
Offer a thesis statement that argues for your own answer/interpretation. (This is similar to a They Say/I Say move, if you read that book in WR 121.)
2-4 supporting arguments, with quotes from the novel to support.
Be sure to introduce, cite, and analyze each quote (what does it suggest? why is it important? how does it tie to your argument?).
Conclusion--can be very brief
Wrap up the argument
Explain why it matters (how does it help us to see the novel in a new way?).

Do's and Don'ts
Make an argument to focus your overall analysis.
Use quotes and specific examples to support your thesis. Cite page numbers like this (32).
Explain/unpack each quote, and show how it develops your larger argument.
In other words / this is important because / this highlights / underscores / develops / suggests / etc.

Just write a plot summary. If you find yourself simply retelling the plot of the story, commenting here and there on issues related to your topic, you should reorganize your essay. Instead, develop a clear thesis and support it with several examples.
Oversimplify the novel in order to force it into a yes/no question. It's OK (and encouraged!) to acknowledge the complexity of these issues.
Make your thesis a fact instead of an argument. Thesis statements should have an argumentative edge.
Bad example: “This story is set in New England.” This is a fact, not an argument.
Better example: “This story’s New England setting reinforces the theme of Puritanical hypocrisy."


How is Science Fiction Used in the Slaughter House Five Novel to Explore Larger Themes?
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
How is Science Fiction Used in the Slaughter House Five Novel to Explore Larger Themes?
Themes are known as overarching beliefs and ideas expressed in texts such as plays, fiction, and poetry by writers. Writers use themes to make their narratives persuasive and appealing and enable readers to comprehend the meaning in a poem or story (Cacicedo, 2005). Kurt Vonnegut used numerous themes to enhance an understanding of the war dilemma and how it affected the victims. As such, the author used science fiction, which mainly deals with futuristic and imaginative concepts including time travel, space exploration, extraterrestrial life, advanced technology, parallel universes, and advanced science to explore the themes.
Vonnegut attempts to express that violence and war are irrational. Vonnegut started the narrative by expressing that he was once a “prisoner-of-war” during the Second World War in Dresden. According to the author, he stayed in an underground slaughterhouse in Dresden during the bombing. Vonnegut had based numerous sections of the story on his personal experiences. Fortunately, Vonnegut survived the war, although the experiences affected him both emotionally and psychologically. The theme of the irrational nature of violence and war is unveiled when the protagonist “Billy Pilgrim” is “unstuck in time,” indicating that he lives from one moment to another instead of the day-to-day life that human beings live. 

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