Essay: In The Novel “Slaughterhouse-Five”
Essentially echoing the idea of Louis MacNeice in his poem ‘Prayer Before Birth’, where he states that by stripping or ‘freeze(ing)’ one of ones own humanity it ‘would dragoon me into a lethal automaton, would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with one face, a thing’. That’s essentially what the entire nation of Oceania is bound on becoming under the control of the Big Brother. Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. “Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves.” (Orwell)
The same themes were recurrent in the novel Slaughterhouse-five, where the anti-war protagonist comes to realize after a grilling encounter with life and all that it holds for people. As to how free will doesn’t truly exist. Sure, the ideology stands, but it stands to reason, for all people and worlds are subject to whatever fate has in store for them. In a sense the above statement also reflects strongly on the belief of how 1984 maybe connected to the idea of the Tralfamadorians in Slaughterhouse-Five where they live in a four dimension world, and when kidnapped by these aliens the protagonist Billy Pilgrim realizes that there is no free world. In fact that is even further confirmed by a Tralfamadorian, who states, “I’ve visited thirty-one inhabited planets in the universe . . . Only on Earth is there any talk of free will.” (Vonnegut)
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