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BANNED BOOKS GROUP READS > Slaughterhouse-Five: General Discussion SPOILERS OKAY

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message 1: by Kelly H. (Maybedog), Big Kahuna, Ministry of Illicit Reading (new)

Kelly H. (Maybedog) (maybedog) | 623 comments Mod
This topic is for discussing Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut in more depth. Spoilers okay. Assume people reading this topic have read the book. If you haven't finished the book yet, post in/read the first impressions topic.


message 2: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (kalypso) | 7 comments I have had to read this 3 times for different literature classes, interesting that it has been banned. Once was in high school and twice in college.


message 3: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa Just finished this and have no idea why it was banned.
I've read more disturbing "anti-war" books.
Was it because it acknowledged that the fire bombing of Dresden happened and was responsible for more deaths than Hiroshima? That it lessened the awe that an atomic weapon inspired by comparing it to brutally effective "conventional weapons"?


message 4: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 484 comments Old-Barbarossa wrote: "Just finished this and have no idea why it was banned.
I've read more disturbing "anti-war" books.
Was it because it acknowledged that the fire bombing of Dresden happened and was responsible for..."


You know, that could be. I'm German and I've been verbally attacked more than once when I dared mention that the firebombing of Dresden was disgusting, unnecessary and even a bit genocidal. I mean, I actually blame the Nazis for it, but there certainly is some responsibility by the Allies here (Dresden was not a strategic centre, it was thronging with refugees, and yes, it was in my opinion a war crime, just like I think Hiroshima was a war crime).


message 5: by Shai (new)

Shai Huld Up | 4 comments Old-Barbarossa wrote: "Just finished this and have no idea why it was banned.
I've read more disturbing "anti-war" books.
Was it because it acknowledged that the fire bombing of Dresden happened and was responsible for..."


Just so you know, even the Dresden City Council reported that the total deaths were no more than 25,000 in a 2010 report.
Still incredibly terrible, but it is inaccurate and a disservice to the victims of the war and of atomic weapons to say that the Dresden Bombings were worse.


message 6: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa Sean wrote: "Still incredibly terrible, but it is inaccurate and a disservice to the victims of the war and of atomic weapons to say that the Dresden Bombings were worse.
..."


Tell Kurt Vonnegut that.
An accident of circumstances then meant a lower death rate, the devastation though was still great. I suppose comparing Dresden and Hiroshima is inappropriate anyway.
So why was it banned then?


message 7: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (affie) One thing I've noticed about a lot of the comments people make about in this group about why books have been banned show that people are thinking much harder about why these books are banned than the people who instigate the challenge.
The book was banned for violence, sex, profanity and anti-american views.


message 8: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa Ashley wrote: "banned for violence, sex, profanity and anti-american views..."

Oh...that's right he does use the colloquial term for someone that acts on their Oedipus complex.


message 9: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (affie) Lol. If we are talking about the reason for the sexual challenge- there was also that whole scene on the alien planet with the glass house and the gorgeous actress...


message 10: by Kelly H. (Maybedog), Big Kahuna, Ministry of Illicit Reading (new)

Kelly H. (Maybedog) (maybedog) | 623 comments Mod
As an American, I was taught in school that both the bombing of Dresden and Hiroshima as well as Nagasaki were horrendous tragedies. We were taught that Hiroshima was much more devastating than expected and that the bombing of Nagasaki was completely unnecessary and wrong. They fell short of condemning the bombing of Hiroshima completely but did say, like at Dresden, it was inappropriate to bomb an entire city.


message 11: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (affie) Kelly, where did you go to school?

I find it interesting the different ways things are taught in school. I was taught that no one really knew or understood the devastation and awful side effects that dropping a nuclear bomb would cause.

So, we dropped the first bomb, expecting a regular explosion, but on a much bigger scale. We then told Japan to surrender or we would drop a second bomb. They did not believe us, refused to surrender and 'called our bluff'. So, we dropped the second bomb and told them to surrender, or we would do it again. (Even though we only had 2 completed bombs at that time) By this time, they were starting to realize just how bad the bombings had affected those cities and Japan agreed to surrender. I don't agree with what happened, but I can't necessarily condemn them for it either. That's what happens in war, and WWII was a nasty, bloody, destructive war with no forseable end. America did what they thought was best, and then stayed around to help Japan clean it up...
Japanese culture dictates that death is more honorable than surrender. The bombings were horrible, tragic and devastating, but imagine how much longer the war could have lasted if we didn't take drastic measures. I can't condemn them for their decisions. I'm just really glad I wasn't the one who had to make it.


message 12: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (lynnellingwood) | 21 comments I have to do this book with students in the 8th grade every year. I do like the theme and the story but find the book boring and tedious. Always have. Ironically, the movie is also boring and tedious and doesn't help much in clarifying the story. I wish someone would come out with a better film for this book. It's kind of funny that this book is banned but then for proponents for banning books, this story would be really threatening.


message 13: by Kelly H. (Maybedog), Big Kahuna, Ministry of Illicit Reading (new)

Kelly H. (Maybedog) (maybedog) | 623 comments Mod
Ashley, I went to school in Seattle. We were taught the reasons the US gave for dropping the second bomb, but they did it so fast on the heels of the second one, the Japanese didn't really have time to deal with it, they were too busy dealing with the devastation and shock. I'm not saying what I was taught was right or wrong, just that what I learned in school wasn't totally US biased.


message 14: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (lynnellingwood) | 21 comments I think the Japanese were very resolute in their worship of the Emperor and it was difficult to back down. They were also numb from the shock I'm sure but to surrender their whole way of thinking had to change in a short time.


message 15: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (kalypso) | 7 comments Ashley wrote: "One thing I've noticed about a lot of the comments people make about in this group about why books have been banned show that people are thinking much harder about why these books are banned than t..."

Like always, I was confused when I saw this on the list of banned books. Now that you mention it, I can see how people can say it's anti-American. It seems so wrong to try and get a book banned for having different views than you. I guess this is something I will just never understand.


message 16: by Lisa (new)

Lisa James (sthwnd) I read it first because it was on the 1001 list, & didn't notice it was also on the banned list till after I finished it. When I went to school, over 20 years ago now, I graduated high school in 1985, we never read this book, & were never taught about the Dresden firebombing, so that was a total eye opener for me. I felt AWFUL for those people. The anti-American views thing is complete BS. I'm a US Navy veteran, & found nothing "anti-American" in this book. The sex thing on the alien world threw me for a bit of a loop, but it was really pretty funny. The Oedipus thing cracked me up. However, this was one book that I truly just did not "like", & I can't put my finger exactly on why I don't like it. There are other Vonnegut books on the 1001 list that I'll get around to reading, & I hope I like them better.


message 17: by Vivian (new)

Vivian Read this good while ago. It fueled a Vonnegut reading frenzy for a year. I loved the surreal sequencing of scenes.


message 18: by *Kashi* (new)

*Kashi* | 2 comments I'm not sure if I'll read this book again. but I concur with OLD BARBOSSA and ASHLEY, maybe it was banned because it talked about the innecesary destruction of a city and because it was not 'anti-american' but anti war and that's almost the same, we've been taught to fight for our country and to never question. Sex? Sex is everywhere all the time, and it wasn't Explicit or nasty in this Book.


message 19: by dane (new)

dane | 2 comments I love and dislike this book. Despite that I read it regularly. I find it boring yet irresistible. It's not my favorite Vonnegut novel, but in saying that I think Billy Pilgrim is the perfect voice to look at Dresden, sex, anti-war, everything. You have a character so detached from reality that readers are looking at this world, human nature, everything, can see it for what it is and it scares them. I think people don't like Slaughterhouse because they're afraid of it. Just like most banned books really.


message 20: by Norman (new)

Norman (normanince) | 3 comments Lynn wrote: "I have to do this book with students in the 8th grade every year. I do like the theme and the story but find the book boring and tedious. Always have. Ironically, the movie is also boring and te..."

Lynn, I was shocked to read that Grade 8 students are reading Slaughterhouse-Five because I cannot imagine how kids of that age can grasp most of the concepts let alone the book's unique structure. Can you enlighten me as to what kind of experience reading this book is for a Gr. 8 class.

Thanks.


message 21: by Kelly H. (Maybedog), Big Kahuna, Ministry of Illicit Reading (new)

Kelly H. (Maybedog) (maybedog) | 623 comments Mod
I was surprised by that as well. I read adult books in middle school all the time but this one I read in high school and I still don't think I got all the subtleties. But perhaps if I had a good teacher who helped me understand it then it would have been different.


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