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Happy Birthday, 1951

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Adriansalcedo
Words 851
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Happy birthday, 1951

As we follow this certain story, we encounter the mental failure caused by The Second World War. In the short story “Happy birthday, 1951” by Kurt Vonnegut, the main character finds hardness and salvation in life, after his survival of the second world war with a newly born baby

Write a summary of the story: “Happy Birthday, 1951”
The story starts with an older man and a young boy who are filling out a couple of social papers, which were given to them by a soldier. They begin talking about when the boy wants to have birthday, because the boy was never given a birthday, thus he can choose his own birthday which he wants to be the following day, because it is raining this day.

The older man explains him that you are entitled to a birthday present every year when it is your birthday, which does not give him a whole lot of time to figure out what to give the boy. Afterwards the story tells us that they have been living in catacombs in the last seven years, where they have stolen food in the night.

The following day, the boy gets an cart as a present and the older man takes him to a peaceful place. They fall asleep and when he wakes up the boy is gone, who he later founds.

Characterize the boy and the old man
The older man encountered the war, whereas the boy was only born in the end of the war.
Therefore the man has experienced the worst parts of mankind's history, which, evidently, has enlighten him that peace is the only “true way”. As he says: “If you’ll let it be a truck, just for today.”(p.2, l.69), after being told that it was a tank - from this we see that he repels from the thought of war or machinery related to war.

Also seen in the story is the following quote: “Four young soldiers came down the sidewalk abreast. The old man stepped into the street, out of their way (...)”(p.2, l.77) - again, he is either frightened or...

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