Biographical Paper on Kurt Vonnegut

Biographical paper on Kurt Vonnegut

  One of America’s greatest literary figures of the modern age was born in Indianapolis on
November 11, 1922, his name was Kurt Vonnegut.   Vonnegut was a master of social satire
mixed with dark humor and he used the genre of science fiction to tell his stories. The use
of Sci-Fi was looked down upon by the powers that be in the literary world when Vonnegut
first started writing, but in 1969 he established it as a true genre of literature with his
master work Slaughterhouse-Five.(1) Many people today consider Vonnegut the modern
day Mark Twain.
  Kurt Vonnegut went to a public high school and got his first taste of writing at his school’s
newspaper, this carried on in to his college career when he attended Cornell University and
wrote for their paper too. His father pushed him into the study of chemistry and biology
which he did not excel in because his true passion was for writing.(2) Vonnegut found his
way out on December 7th, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and he enlisted in
the United States Army.(4)
    Vonnegut’s time in the Army was instrumental in his development as the literary power house
he would become.   In 1943 the Army sent Vonnegut to Carnegie Mellon to study Mechanical
engineering but by 1944 he had been shipped to the American front in Europe. He participated
in the Battle of the Bulge where he was captured by the Nazis, and sent to Dresden to a
prisoner of war camp.(2)   While he was in Dresden the Allies carpet-bombed the city and
Vonnegut and other POWs were among the few that survived because they were in an
underground meat locker in a slaughterhouse at the time.   His experience in Dresden would
later become the basis for his book Slaughterhouse-Five.(4) He was freed by the Russians and
returned to America.
  When Vonnegut returned from the war he married his high school sweet heart Jane Marie
Cox. They had three children of their own and also...