AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 4, Number2. May  2020                                   Pp. 167-176

White Identity Problems in Kurt Vonnegut’s Science Fiction

Department of English, Faculty of Letters and Languages
University of Aboubekr Belkaid, Tlemcen – Algeria 

Department of English, Faculty of Letters and Languages
University of Aboubekr Belkaid, Tlemcen, Algeria


Kurt Vonnegut as a American post-war author sought to voice his anger with American foreign policy, arguing that it had a pervasive impact on the white middle-class individual. He used two mains types of protagonists to represent the struggle of this white middle-class individual. The first is a post-nuclear hero that is careless and indifferent to things around them. The second is characterized by a sort of obsessive madness about people’s well being and love. Both are victims of the atomic annihilation age which occurred after the Second World War and the fears that emanated of it. They have to look at their universe crawling to destruction and teach themselves to cope with it. The only escape that is possible for these protagonists is death. Vonnegut thus makes self-deluded, anxious, and mad protagonists to show a white middle-class individual who suffers an identity crisis because the discourses and claims of the government alienate them. This special middle-class is a minority that is marginalized by the mainstream bourgeois culture. Loneliness is a keyword in his works, he often depicts Americans around the world as lonely because the foreign policy of their country makes them misunderstood among others, and does not represent their true feelings. Lonesome No More and God Bless You Mr. Rosewater are novels that show kindness towards simple Americans. Understanding the importance of this white American minority will help understanding contemporary American politics and particularly the kind of people that are elected in America.

Cite as:

MENGOUCHI, M., & HAMZA REGUIG MOURO, W.  (2020). White Identity Problems in Kurt Vonnegut’s Science Fiction. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 4 (2) 167-176 .


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Meryem MENGOUCHI is a teacher of literary studies in the department of English, University of Aboubekr Belkaid Tlemcen. She has an M.A in Applied Literary Studies from ISLT, University of Carthage, Tunisia, and is writing a Phd thesis on the aspects of minority literature in the works of American author Kurt Vonnegut. ORCid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4138-0690

Wassila Hamza Reguig Mouro is an Associate Professor at the Department of English, University of Aboubekr Belkaid Tlemcen. She holds a Doctorate in Literature and Civilization as well as a Habilitation. Her research interests are mostly literary and turn around Postmodernism
(metafiction, intertextuality, dialogism and narration…), Women’s writing, Postcolonial literature and the Victorian era. ORCid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5011-3551