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D.P. Essay Novel Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By frederikkeaaes
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Pages 3
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D.P. by Kurt Vonnegut, JR.
By Frederikke Aaes
_______________________________________________________________________________________

“Sister, am I son of an American soldier?” (p. 30, line 16). This quotation is a 6-year-old boy, Joe, asking a nun about where he comes from. During World War 2 many soldiers had affairs and slept with the local people when they were on a foreign assignment in for example Germany. One of the consequences of this was that several children were born having soldiers as fathers and a local woman from the given place as mother. The child were in most cases born long after the soldier had left the given town or village. The short story D.P. by Kurt Vonnegut, JR is showing us this problem through a telling about a young black boy named Joe, searching for his identity. The title D.P. stands for “Displaced Person” and this is exactly how Joe feels. At the time the story takes place black people were being discriminated, and especially in Europe. This meant that there were not many black people in Germany.
The story shows us an image of a youg black boy, Joe, who was raised by nuns in a small German village. He lives on an orphanage with several other children. He was named Karl Heinz by the nuns but the townspeople dubbed him Joe Louis. He has never seen another black person in his life. He do not know who he is, who his mother is or who his father is. Therefore, when he finds out that there are black people among the American Soldiers passing through town he is determined to find his real father – his identity. He finds out about the soldiers during a walk with the other children. Every day they walk to town getting fresh air, and every day the town people teas them, yelling different things at the children. One day the village carpenter yells that Joe´s father is in town, and that he has to keep his eyes open for him. “Joe! Hey Joe! Your father is in town. Have you seen him yet?” (p. 31, line 32). Despite the warning from a sister, he goes out to find his father in the woods. He run away and finds the soldiers. Among them are several black soldiers and Joe gets bundle by love to the sergeant.
“Talking about displaced persons”, the sergeant says. (p. 34, line 7). The sergeant gets a feeling of compassion because they both are displaced people. The sergeant can relate to how the little boy feels. This we can see in the following quotation:
“Shut up!” commanded the sergeant suddenly. “All of you just shut up. This aint no joke! Ain´t nothing funny in it! Boy´s is all alone in the world. Ain´t no joke.”
This reaction shows that the black sergeant knows how Joe feels, and does not think that it is funny. He might have been feeling lonely or discriminated in his life too and therefore able to relate to Joes feelings.

but the townspeople have dubbed him Joe Louis. He has never even seen another black person. So when he hears that there are several blacks among a contingent of American soldiers moving through the village, he is determined to find his real father despite the warnings of fussy Sister Agnes. Running away, he settles on a gruff sergeant as the most likely candidate. The boy is a bundle of unquestioning love. The man fights off his unexpected feelings of compassion. Both are, for their brief time together, displaced persons.

shows to us a picture of a young black boy, Joe, who is raised by the nuns in a small German town. The local tease the boys and claim that his long lost father was an African American during the World War II. Through the story, Vonnegut provides us a picture of a young boy trying to search for his identity. He keeps asking questions around about his true identity, about his true people who have the same skin color.Vonnegut presents us a sence where the black boy among those Germans getting very confused by the information which is provided by the carpenter, Peter and the nun. Also the arrival of the American soldires bring Joe to a new dimension which help him to believe in himself more that there are people like him out there in the world and he could be with them afterward.

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