Life in a Feed Lot
Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five
by Michael E. Bailey
Despite modernity’s centuries-long turn toward the secular, the West has never shaken off the form of the Fall and Restoration as a way of making sense of our broken world. Even the liberation-obsessed 1960s, in which Kurt Vonnegut wrote his most influential and well-received novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, had its own variations on the theme, drawn in vulgarized fashion from the writings of earlier thinkers, most prominently Rousseau (who hated civilization), Marx (who hated capitalism), Freud (who hated religion), and Nietzsche (who hated everything else).
Painted in broad strokes, the 1960s version of the Fall and Restoration goes like this: Man never experienced a fall—he is innocent still—but the abuses of society cause him to do wicked things and to become dysfunctional in his own environment. Reforming society (or dropping out of it) is therefore a necessary step to restoring personal emotional and spiritual well-being.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Michael E. Bailey is Associate Professor of Government at Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia. He serves as Deacon at First Presbyterian Church in Rome, Georgia, and is married and has three daughters.
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor