The novels of Kurt Vonnegut have attracted critical attention in recent years, but little in the way of in depth study. His novels are often noted as examples of post – modernism and metafiction, but in the main are just listed as such. In addition, the vast majority of critical analysis that has been done is written by American critics.
I hope to provide an objective view of Vonnegut and the America of which he writes. Vonnegut first found success as a writer of science fiction. Novels such as Player Piano and The Sirens of Titan are fine examples of the genre, written in a very distinctive style. He has since found himself pigeon – holed in the science fiction genre and as such was ignored as a writer worthy of serious critical attention for many years. In order to show the scope of his abilities, I am concentrating on three neglected novels from across his career whose subject matter is founded purely on Earth, Jailbird, Bluebeard, and Mother Night, and his most famous work, Slaughterhouse Five.
I intend to highlight some of the particular qualities of his writing, his extraordinary characterisation, his imaginative techniques of form and what they combine to produce.
- Chapter 1 – America through the eyes of Kurt Vonnegut
- Chapter 2 – Heroes, anti – heroes and non heroes
- Chapter 3 – Stories are Gadgets