The First Person's Futile Search for Meaning in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five
Raghad Adnan Al-Ma'ani

War is destructive in the full sense of the word. It starts the same way it ends. Trying to find a justification for it is tiring and absurd. One should first try to understand what the word war means in order to find an answer. Or one has to distinguish between the concept of war and a just war. Is war just by any means? According to the BBC Ethics Guide, there are six conditions for war to be considered just. Two of them are related to the fact that war must be waged for a just cause and another is related to the intention behind the war which must be good. It goes on by indicating that innocent people in war should not be harmed (BBC Ethics Guide). As a reader of these conditions, man’s bewilderment increases and reaches the limits of insanity. How can the intention behind a war be good? Theoretically speaking, these conditions are lawful but in reality they are futile and meaningless. Therefore this study aims at proving the futility of war through the depiction of Billy Pilgrim’s trauma in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five.

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