Slaughterhouse-Five Essay

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24 November 2014 “Slaughterhouse-Five” Literary analysis essay Kurt Vonnegut uses the novel Slaughterhouse-Five as “Exposure Therapy” due to experiences that have haunted him as he has grown up into a writer from his past days as a soldier. “Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive-behavior therapy that involves having the person we-live the traumatic experience, or exposing the person to objects or situations that cause anxiety.” (Cleveland Clinic). Exposure therapy is therefore a way for Vonnegut to express his experiences in a controlled environment as he will only speak about events when he is ready. He requires this exposure therapy as he is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD), this is a serious condition which often develops after someone experiences or witnesses a traumatic event in which serious physical harm has occurred or was threatened. (Cleveland Clinic) PTSD wasn't diagnosed until after the Vietnam War, this shows that Vonnegut grew up in a time where no one really understood why soldiers found it so hard coming back from war and soldiers didn't receive aid to come to grips with their experiences. Vonnegut has clearly experienced similar events associated with PTSD whilst being a soldier in Dresden which is why he expresses them in this novel as part of his exposure therapy. The novel does take many twists and turns along the way with the aliens, time travel and the wild 60’s sex revolution, however under all the sub sections of Vonnegut’s true life experiences in an attempt for him to come to terms with his painful wartime memories. The novel seemed the only way to get his thoughts out of him about Dresden, he had tried years earlier with his war buddy O’Hare, however Vonnegut speaks of how O’Hare was reluctant to speak about events due to how traumatic he found his memories of Dresden. “He was unenthusiastic. He said he didn't
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