Essay: Slaughterhouse-five Orwell’s Theme

Sample Essay

A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledgehammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp. (Orwell)

This reminds one of the themes prevalent in Slaughterhouse-five, which is considered one of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpieces where a fatalistic American war soldier with the ability to time travel through the events in his life explores the major themes of freedom and free will, and how war becomes an integral element to maintain that ideology. Thus, this become reminiscent of the theme of free will in 1984 where a state of ‘utopia’ is so called created, but war still prevails, where ‘WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH’. By enforcing this major concept of doublethink into the minds of the people, they are able to unite all the people under the banner of fear of war, where every man who is free, is a lone individual and is thus destined to fail which can be seen from this particular quote:

Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, the world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain. (Orwell)

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