Vonnegut's Dresden story : the cathartic struggle.

No Thumbnail Available
Edwards, Mary
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Middle Tennessee State University
This dissertation will reflect an analysis of a close reading of Kurt Vonnegut's first six novels: Player Piano (1952), The Sirens of Titan (1959), Mother Night (1961), Cat's Cradle (1963), God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1964), and Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) as a means of tracing specific and repeated themes, images, sounds, smells, patterns, colors, and events that relate to Vonnegut's experience as an American POW during World War II in Dresden, Germany. Vonnegut returned from war, planning to write a novel about what he had seen; it took him twenty-three years of struggle as a writer to accomplish the task.
Chapter one will establish the historical background of what happened in Dresden during Vonnegut's imprisonment. This is necessary, so that the Dresden images, when they appear in a novel, will be recognizable. Chapters two through seven will then trace these Dresden "markers" as they filter through Vonnegut's writing.
This dissertation will show that the specific writing techniques, themes, and characterizations needed for Vonnegut to voice his Dresden message were being honed in these first books, and that when they came to full bloom in 1969 with the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five, they resulted in a cathartic experience for Vonnegut, who felt a sense of accomplishment and release when he was finally able to deliver his Dresden message.
Adviser: Larry Gentry.