Vonnegut's Statement upon Human Nature

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Vonnegut’s Statement upon Human Nature

Questioning one’s actions towards others can define an individual’s character instantly. In several of Vonnegut’s stories the use of satire, or use of humor and ridicule expose society’s flaws and usage of irony, using language that signifies the opposite, for an emphatic effect renders mankind’s selfish nature. Kurt Vonnegut, author of “Welcome to the Monkey House” exercises the use of satire and irony to explain how humans will be intolerant and take advantage of each other.

The author uses satire in “Report on the Barnhouse Effect” to reveal the selfish insights of human nature. The professor states “I admit I know next to nothing about international politics, but it seems reasonable to suppose that nobody would want to fight wars if there were enough of everything to go around” (Vonnegut 182). The discovery of the professor’s powers led to the American military desire to abuse it. The professor’s intention for the use of his power did not include harming individuals, which contradicted the military‘s plans for personal and military gain which involved jeopardizing the lives of foreign citizens. The military’s desire for personal and military gain is selfish because it declares that the government would rather seek a violent solution rather than a peaceful one instead. The professor declares “I have never dared to concentrate as hard as I can for fear of the damage I might do” (Vonnegut 180). This statement is ironic because it exposes that the professor did not want to harm anyone but the nation’s political and military only views him as a weapon against other countries rather than a way to aid the world. Vonnegut provides these details to show how people are selfish for only regarding to their requests. This shows selfish human nature because the government wanted to tailor their needs rather than see the potential of the international benefits the professors powers could have complied too. In the short...
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