Kurt Vonnegut Literary Research Paper

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ganelle64
Words 3597
Pages 15
Ganelle Curry
Professor Meredyth Puller
English 102-12
February 27, 2013
Literary Research Paper This literary research paper is based on the book Welcome to the Monkey House: A Collection of Short Works by Kurt Vonnegut. Welcome to the Monkey House: A Collection of Short Works consists of 25 short stories most of which had previously appeared in magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly, Ladies Home Journal, Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, Collier’s Magazine, Saturday Evening Post, The New York Times, Esquire, Venture, and Cosmopolitan. The title story appeared in Playboy magazine the same year the collection was released. Eleven of the stories were reprinted from Vonnegut’s 1961 short story collection Canary in a Cat House (Vonnegut). This paper will focus on four futuristic science fiction stories from the collection. These stories, “Welcome to the Monkey House”, “Harrison Bergeron”, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow”, and “Unready to Wear” all share a dystopian science fiction theme. Science and technology are supposed to make the world a better place, but instead, Vonnegut concludes they only create a new set of problems (Farrell, “Science and Technology in the Works of Kurt Vonnegut”). Television is often a target of satire in much of his fiction from the 1950’s. He describes it as desensitizing and numbing while deceiving the masses (Werlock). Vonnegut uses satire and pessimism throughout these dystopian stories. Satire is a special form of literature that seeks to uncover ridiculous ideas and customs in a society (Mowery). Each story portrays a totalitarian government that proposes an irrational solution to genuine problems. Vonnegut uses dystopian fiction and his aversion to science, technology, and television to expose what he feels are foolish ideas and weaknesses in our society. This paper will analyze each story, contrasting how each…...

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