College of Arts and Sciences
Kurt Vonnegut, Vonnegut, Katherine Anne Porter, Porter, Vietnam War, World War I, World War II, patriotism, feminism, Slaughterhouse-five, Pale Horse Pale Rider
American Literature | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | United States History | Women's History
Miller, Melissa N., "Suffering Sisters, Silent Majorities, and Societal Oppression: Comparing the Anti-War Themes and Strategies of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and Katherine Anne Porter’s “Pale Horse, Pale Rider”" (2015). Senior Honors Theses. Paper 546.
Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and Katherine Anne Porter’s “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” are quite dissimilar in style, but these two works convey overall anti-war themes. The works were written in different eras, portray different wars, and are strongly influenced by the lives of the authors themselves; however, these unique factors work together in both works to convey similar messages regarding war’s oppressive nature and corruption of mankind. Vonnegut and Porter employ various methods to communicate these messages, some unique to the respective works and some shared by the two. The characters of Montana Wildhack and Miranda Gay—two oppressed female characters imprisoned by the war with no means of escape—are examples of a tactic both utilize to demonstrate the negative impact of war, but their femininity serves a different purpose in both works; Porter utilizes her character to convey a feminist message regarding war, while Vonnegut merely uses a female as a method of communicating a general anti-war theme.