Kurt Vonnegut’s novels derive from his experience of a country that has broken down and is in need of mending. He would like to see the country revived by placing more emphasis on the needs of people, but he possesses a sense of doubt that it will happen.

That doubt, added to a sense of distrust in the powers that rule his society, has led him to write about the non-heroes suitable to exemplify that society. Like him, they feel lost in it, and are strongly susceptible to its irrational influences.

The doubt has also helped to form the fragmented way in which he expresses himself. It has also allowed him to express vividly his desires and ideas, and to create a new reading experience in which to do so.

In his lecture in Cheltenham in 1993, Vonnegut stated his wish to:

make people care with just twenty-six letters, ten numerals and eight punctuations printed on wood pulp.

The ways he has found to re-arrange these marks on wood pulp have given him a distinctive way in which to try to achieve this.