Language

Style of language

The story “2BR02B” by Kurt Vonnegut is written in an informal style. The tone is casual, and the narration uses contractions: “The orderly finished the thought with the trick telephone number that people who didn’t want to live any more were supposed to call”. This helps to convey natural speech patterns.

The characters supporting the system are hiding behind euphemisms. For instance, the municipal gas chambers are officially called the “Ethical Suicide Studios”, which is quite ironical, because forcing people to commit assisted suicide is, in itself, unethical. 

Leora Duncan objects to Dr. Hitz’ use of the term “Catbox” for it, because “it gives people the wrong impression”, while “Ethical Suicide Studios “sounds so much better”. However, this does not change the fact that the purpose of the institution is to “dispose” of people who choose to die to make room for future generations, which makes the nickname “catbox” more suitable. 

Irony and humor

The narrative and dialogue rely heavily on irony, highlighting the absurdity of the dystopian world. For instance, the painter replies to Leora Duncan’s remark that the painting “ ‘looks just like heaven or something’ ”, with “ ‘Or something’ ” 

Similarly, Wehling replies to Dr. Hitz’s remark that he doesn’t sound very happy, by stating: “ ‘What man in my shoes wouldn’t be happy? (...) All I have to do is pick out which one of the triplets is going to live, then deliver my maternal grandfather to the Happy Hooligan.’ ” The words show that Wehling is upset and is surprised that Dr. Hitz cannot understand that. 

The municipal gas chambe...

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