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Icons in Focus: Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Simple, understandable and downright funny. These are the few iconic characteristics of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. And his works that have made us laugh, cry and slap ourselves in the face with pure wit and sudden realization. Read on to find out more about his life and works.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was an author of many well-loved books. He was a father, a freethinker and a humanist through and through. His works speak of great kindness towards the human race and all inhabitants of the Earth. He was a war veteran and was locked up inside a meat locker that coincidentally saved his life and other prisoners of war in Dresden, Germany. He was a soldier but he hated war. He had never looked back after that experience.

Born on November 11, 1922 in Indianapolis Indiana, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. would grow up to be a comic without the means of a live audience. He always entertained people through his writing and humorous commentary about life and everything in between.

His childhood was greatly influenced by the dark times of the Great Depression as his family’s fortunes changed dramatically in just a short span of time. It is this kind of prevalent influence in his works that gave his writing a dark comic voice that would entertain millions of readers even if they were first put through a roller coaster ride of bad luck.

Vonnegut was a self-professed humanist. His works reflected that idea and his characters give out a human element even if they were extra terrestrial beings from a planet named Tralfamadore. He gave life to non-human characters on his works such as “When Mortals Sleep” and his ever famous self-image character Kilgore Trout’s pet parakeet Bill. Vonnegut saw to it that his writings reflected life in more ways than one and he was an ambassador of humanity in a realistic world.

His classic works “Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions” among many other of his works all have a certain feel of comedy to them. It is good enough to make you laugh at the extraordinary ideas but strong enough to anchor you in the most ordinary ways. Vonnegut was a master of parsimony, he wrote straight, he was blunt and he meant what he said.

Vonnegut never really cared about critical acclaim. He only wanted to write and impart his wisdom to his audience. His signature sense of humor, morality and a characteristic writing voice made for a combination that was loved by many readers. The famed satirist and political dynamite died on April 11, 2007 at his New York home. He didn’t like to think of himself as a great American writer but the world had other opinions about that. So it goes.

All information used in this article were sourced from Vonnegut Library, Biography and Observer.

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written by cheeo

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