This article is about the novel. Set predominantly in the fictional town of Midland City, Ohio, it is the reflexive universe pdf story of “two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast. Vonnegut novels, looks like a crazy old man but is in fact relatively sane.
Kilgore Trout is a widely published, but otherwise unsung and virtually invisible writer who is invited to deliver a keynote address at a local arts festival in distant Midland City. Dwayne Hoover is a wealthy businessman who owns much of Midland City, but has become increasingly unstable mentally. The novel is achronological and frequently shifts focus between Hoover and Trout, as well as supporting characters like Hoover’s son, Bunny, and Wayne Hoobler, and Kurt Vonnegut himself, who appears as the author of the book. The novel’s structure is a simple one, yet it employs simultaneously evolving plots from different times and spaces. 1492 to euphemisms for genitalia. When Kilgore finally arrives in Midland City he piques the interest of Dwayne. A confused Dwayne demands a message from Kilgore, who hands over a copy of his novel.
Everyone else is a robot. Dwayne believes the novel to be factual and immediately goes on a violent rampage, severely beating his son, his lover, and nine other people before being taken into custody. While Kilgore is walking the streets of Midland after Dwayne’s rampage the narrator of the book approaches Kilgore. The narrator tells Kilgore of his existence, and lets Kilgore be free and under his own will. Kilgore begs to be made young again, and the novel ends with a full-page drawing of Vonnegut crying. Suicide, free will, mental illness, and social and economic cruelty are dealt with throughout the novel.
In the preface, Vonnegut states that he tends “to think of human beings as huge, rubbery test tubes, too, with chemical reactions seething inside. He attributes the mental illness of Dwayne Hoover and society at large to an abundance of “bad chemicals” in the brain which, when combined with bad ideas, formed “the Yin and Yang of madness. This idea, that humans are no more than machines, is contained within the novel Kilgore Trout gives to Dwayne Hoover. This was the reason Americans shot each other so often: it was a convenient literary device for ending short stories and books. The view of humans as biological machines, initially accepted by Vonnegut, is counteracted by Rabo Karabekian, the abstract artist who suggests “Our awareness is all that is alive and maybe sacred in any of us. Everything else about us is dead machinery.
The novel is critical of American society and its treatment of its citizens, many of which Vonnegut writes “were so ignored and cheated and insulted that they thought they might be in the wrong country. He focuses largely on race, the poor, and the destruction of the environment, criticizing the hypocrisy of a land that claims to be based on the principles of freedom having been founded by people who “used human beings for machinery, and, even after slavery was eliminated, because it was so embarrassing, they and their descendants continued to think of ordinary human beings as machines. The incidents in the life of Wayne Hoobler, a black resident of Midland City, are frequently contrasted with those of the similarly named Dwayne Hoover, emphasizing the aforementioned impact of race. The novel is simple in syntax and sentence structure, part of Vonnegut’s signature style. Likewise, irony, sentimentality, black humor, and didacticism, are prevalent throughout the work.
Vonnegut himself has claimed that his books “are essentially mosaics made up of a whole bunch of tiny little chipsand each chip is a joke. Characteristically, he makes heavy use of repetition, in this case starting many sections with “Listen” and ending many with “And so on. The novel is full of drawings by the author, intending to illustrate various aspects of life on Earth, are sometimes pertinent to the story line and sometimes tangential. The novel also makes use of intertextuality with Vonnegut’s other works. He gave it up, however, and it remains unfinished. I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because it was a piece of —-.