• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Human Nature

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Beg�m Cogal English 401 E Block Human Nature For hundreds of years people have written countless books about war. Some have chosen to write simply about the events that took place during the war, in the form a historical account, while others have chosen to write about their own, or other people's experiences. However, many of them have portrayed war as being glorious and associated it with valor and honor, suggesting that all participants of war were heroes. In a way these kinds of writings were encouraging warfare by depicting the act of war and its partakers as being admirable. On the contrary, Slaughterhouse- Five written by Kurt Vonnegut is an anti-war book. Not only does it reveal the horrors of war, but it also suggests that the 'heroes' are in fact mere children doing what they have been instructed to do. The combatants are depicted as weak, vulnerable and very much human, unlike the exaggerated superheroes of typical war novels. The theme of the passage is that even though time and death are two concepts that are beyond the control of human beings, people still try to overcome them, oblivious to the fact that there would be no life without death. The author Kurt Vonnegut uses literary features such as allusion and irony to emphasize on the theme. ...read more.

Middle

The narrator alludes to a number of excerpts from books he has read. The narrator's allusion to an excerpt from Words for the Wind by Theodore Roethke, suggests many things about the way the narrator feels about fate. "I wake to sleep and take my waking slow. I feel my fate in what I cannot fear. I learn by going where I have to go" (20). We can tell from this extract that the narrator believes in fate. He believes that everything is predetermined and it is the destiny of every mortal to eventually die. So, what the narrator is trying to say through the excerpt is that, we know that ultimately we will all die, and there is no way of overcoming it, therefore there is no point in fearing it. The key is to accept death and try to learn as much as possible from life as we go along the path that destiny has chosen for us. It is meaningless to spend life defying what we cannot change. The excerpt shows us how the narrator deals with death. The narrator also uses allusion to extracts from Celine and His Vision by Erika Ostrovsky and Death on the Installment Plan. The narrator quotes from Erika Ostrovsky's Celine and His Vision: "No art is possible without a dance with death" (21). ...read more.

Conclusion

The narrator calls his own work a failure since it was written by a 'pillar of salt'. He is calling himself a pillar of salt to show that he always looks back as well and to call attention to the fact that despite everything he still has not lost the characteristics that make him human. Since humans are inherently flowed and imperfect, his work cannot be perfect either. However, the narrator exaggerates and calls his work a failure to stress on it. The narrator also uses irony to emphasize on the theme. When the narrator is talking about the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, he uses irony. "Those were vile people in both those cities, as is well known. The world was better of without them" (21). The narrator makes it seem as though their deaths were justified since they were nasty and horrible people, who were not worthy of living anyway. What the narrator is really trying to do is convince himself that what happened was all right, so that he can accept it and move on. The narrator also uses irony when he uses the excerpt from the Death on the Installment Plan. In the passage, Celine wants the people to stop moving and freeze, in order to stop them from dying. However, what he doesn't realize is that if he freezes them, they will not be living either. The narrator is once again trying to convey to the reader the message that there would be no life without death. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE War Poetry essays

  1. The changing tradition of war poetry

    In the final stanza a line is repeated. "why don't they come and put me into bed? why don't they come and put me into bed? why don't they come?" This line is repeated because he wants to go to sleep so he can forget his life and the dull, monotonous moments.

  2. Commentary of a passage from John Dollar by Marianne Wiggins

    This list represents three types of elements totally different: vegetation, infinite and impalpable limit and a human being, which demonstrate the confusion on the whole enviroment. Wiggins conveys the confusion of the girls by describing their confused actions; one on the girls forgets her shoe at the edge of the see.

  1. Endgame and Act Without Words

    more move, even though the game is lost and has lost whatever appeal it may have once had.

  2. A Look into the Human Mind - Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

    His father was going to throw Billy into the deep end, and Billy was going to damn well swim. It was like an execution. Billy was numb as his father carried him from the shower room to the pool. His eyes were closed.

  1. Critics have spent entire books interpreting Gray's

    were a person, and then suitably the narrator's eye shifts to a human graveyard. From creatures that wind, plod, wheel, and wander, he looks on still, silent "mould'ring" heaps, and on turf under a moonlit tower where "The rude forefathers" "sleep" in a "lowly bed."

  2. Poetry : pre-1914 - Explore some of the methods your chosen poets adopt to ...

    Chaucer explains the Squire's behaviour by night: "he sleep namoore than doth a nightertale" . This is a symbol of sleepless lovers in an idealised youth when he delves into the etiquette that comes with marriage. This contrasts with the next two lines which show his obedience and lowliness at the hands of his father.

  1. The Celebrity death of Kurt Cobain

    Since his death, there's been a flood of speculation on who and why, and even if, but unfortunately still no concrete answers exist for any of these questions.

  2. What do we learn from this passage about the character of Achilles? Support your ...

    blames himself for the death of his comrade as Patroklos died fighting in his place wearing his armour. The hero knows he will die because the fates have decreed it will be so, yet Achilleus is happy to accept this fate because he believes he deserves to die.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work