Annotated Bibliography

“Calvin Coolidge.”, 16 Jan. 2021,

This article is useful for those who are unfamiliar with the legacy of Calvin Coolidge. Starting with his election in 1923 and his retirement in 1933. The article takes us through his term as president, his personality, and politics. We are told of his popularity in what they were calling the “Coolidge Prosperity.” His popularity was reinforced by him taking 51% of the popular vote. At the same time, the article takes into account the President’s flaws. The article calls him one of the most “Distant and Negative presidents.”

Drăgan, Nicolae Sorin. “The Emotional Arcs of Political Narratives.” Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Braşov, Series IV: Philology & Cultural Studies 13.Suppl (2020): 69-86.

This article uses the “emotional arcs” idea proposed by Kurt Vonnegut to analyze political speeches and use it as a scale to measure the emotional responses that these speeches elicit. Emotional arcs are different from the plot in that they measure the emotional response from readers or listeners. Whereas the plot is more focused on how a story works and why.

Farnam Street. “Kurt Vonnegut’s Letter to the School Board that Burned His Books.” Farnam Street, Farnam Street, 29 Mar. 2017,,that%20my%20work%20is%20evil.

This is a letter Vonnegut wrote to a school board in North Dakota in response to their banning of some of his books. Vonnegut states that these books were destroyed by ‘the furnace of the school’ and proceeds to explain how insulted he is at this action coming from a group of people who are supposed to be academics but act quite the opposite. He expresses concern that they are promoting the opposite of an open educational environment and even that these actions support censorship.

Ferguson, Rex. “Blind Noise and Deaf Visions: Henry Green’s Caught, Synaesthesia and the Blitz.” Journal of Modern Literature 33.1 (2009): 102-116.

This article talks about the metaphor of a bomb and how you can hear it, but you cannot see it. A lot of this article talks about the imagery of experiencing things blind. There is lots of talk about color and explosions, and how you cannot inhere to any of the colors that are described. Rather, you hear the sounds that come from the bombing.

Free, J. B. “The Food of Adult Drone Honeybees (Apis Mellifera).” Brit. J. Animal Behaviour 5 (1957): 7-11.

This article discusses the eating habits of adult western honeybee drones. The article also gives information on the worker bees’ roles in relation to the drones. This study was conducted on marked drone bees with two pairs of drones being examined twice a day. It’s presumed “unemployed forager” workers feed the inactive drones on the first few days of their birth. This is then followed by a time where they are both fed by workers and themselves. After about a week we are told they feed themselves completely. This article would be useful for those interested in learning more about the roles of drones in the hive.

Freese, Peter. “Kurt Vonnegut’s” Jailbird”: Recent American History and the Failure of the American Dream.” Amerikastudien/American Studies (1999): 137-165.

This article is about the different parts of life that Kurt emulates within each of his works. This source also goes into play the failure of the American Dream. If you know what the American Dream is and what it consists of then this is a fantastic source for you. This source talks a lot about the characters that Vonnegut brings to life. He goes through their failures and what their life story is all about. It also talks a lot about how people cannot “discover” the meaning of life. They have to invent their own in order to survive in this terrible world. This citation would be helpful in the sense that you could connect the American Dream to almost anything. This citation would be useful if you wanted to focus on the history or the struggles of Americans over several years.

Glace, Alyssa M., Tessa L. Dover, and Judith G. Zatkin. “Taking the black pill: An empirical analysis of the “Incel”.” Psychology of Men & Masculinities (2021).

This article takes an in-depth view of incels and their views on many different topics that relate to being an incel. Such topics include toxic masculinity, misogyny, racism, and suicidal thoughts. By downloading and analyzing posts from the Reddit forum r/Braincels, this article has found many odd dualities in the incel community. Such as Incels intensely desiring sexual intercourse, but at the same time, they incessantly shame women who are sexually active. Along with that, they talk about how much they desire to be in a relationship with a woman, but mock any man who is in a relationship because they believe he is just being controlled by his lust. This study dives into the polarizing community of incels to try and find out just exactly what it means to be one.

 “Jung and the Behaviorists.” Redefining Reality, episode 17, 2015,

In this video, Dr. Steven Gimbel discusses Carl Jung’s theory of the universal collective consciousness.  He discusses how this extended from Freud’s ideas and changed psychology.  It explained Jung’s theory about the collective subconscious that includes human knowledge gained by our ancestors.  He explains that we see similarities in cultural myths and religions between groups that appeared to have no contact.  Jung’s theory explains these synchronicities by using archetypical patterns which can be seen and studied through literature.  This video is useful in understanding Jung’s theory and applying it to literature.

Greer, Creed. “Kurt Vonnegut and the Character of Words.” The Journal of narrative technique 19.3 (1989): 312-330.

Greer talks about the struggles between an author and a character in Vonnegut’s works. The article also explores how Vonnegut’s novels are personal. They directly talk about the characters’ struggles so the audience can then relate to them and bring them to life. This source illustrates what it is like for a character to have the life that the author wants them to have. This lets the audience have real-life connections with each character. The nice thing about giving characters real-life characteristics is that as an audience, we are going to be able to relate in one way or the other. Vonnegut does a good job at bringing characters to life. It gives the audience a reason to keep coming back to read. This would be a wonderful source for anyone wanting to make that connection between an author’s work and the characters that are brought about in each novel.

Gross, Thomas F. “The Promise of the Personality Theories Course.” Teaching of Psychology 9.2 (1982): 113-114. 10.1207/s15328023top0902_20.

Thomas Gross discusses in this journal article the importance of studying personality theory in literature and how it helps give students a base understanding of psychology.  This article discusses the three basic models of personality theory and the nine assumptions that theorists make about human nature.  It discusses how when looking at Kurt Vonnegut’s writings through this psychological lens, a reader can interpret that he does not believe people have free will and that people need to believe in dignity to survive.  This article is useful in helping understand personality theory and human nature.  It will also help in finding possible interpretations of Vonnegut’s text.

Kokonis, Michalis. “Intermediality Between Games and Fiction: The “Ludology vs. Narratology” Debate in Computer Game Studies: A Response to Gonzalo Frasca.” Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies 09 (2014): 171-188.

This article discusses the emergence of video game critics who have separated themselves into two schools of thought. Narratologists, who believe that the narrative in video games should be looked at very carefully and that reviewing their narratives should be treated in much the same way as one would analyze literature or movies. The other is Ludologists, who reject analyzing video games as narratives and instead focus on the mechanics and gameplay of video games. The article goes on to say that both of these viewpoints are valid, but a wider theoretical approach is needed to fully understand video games. The article recommends the semiotic approach, which will enable the use of both narratology and ludology, while also aiding communication between theorists who want to communicate with and understand each other while delving into the dual nature of video games.

Morse, Donald E. “Kurt Vonnegut: The Representative Post-World War II American Writer.” Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies (HJEAS) (2015): 195-210.

This article discusses how Kurt Vonnegut’s work connects to a post-WWII America. The author reflects on historical aspects and themes in Vonnegut’s writing and points out that although Vonnegut makes post-war life seem somewhat bleak, there is an underlying note of positivity in his stories. Vonnegut filtered out some of the negativity to create his version of a better future for America.

Myers, David G. Psychology in Everyday life. Macmillan, 2011.

In this Textbook, Myers and DeWall introduce psychology.  It gives a basic overview of many psychological theories including personality theories in chapter 11.  It gives a basic understanding of what these theories are and how they can be applied to better our understanding of the human mind.  This textbook is useful in understanding psychological theories.  Once these theories are understood, then they can be applied more accurately to interpret a text.

Reilly, Charlie, and Kurt Vonnegut. “Two Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut.” College Literature 7.1 (1980): 1-29.

This article is actually less of an article and more of an interview. It provides further insight into why Kurt Vonnegut wrote what he wrote and how. It also goes into great detail about certain aspects of his life, such as his job at General Electric and how working there sort of pushed him to write. This article is not only another primary source but also shows how relatable Vonnegut’s writing still is.

Sandford, Christopher. “Kurt Vonnegut Would Still Be Amused.” America, vol. 227, no. 4, Nov. 2022, pp. 52–55. EBSCOhost, 1&site=ehostlive&scope=site.

This article begins by explaining Vonnegut’s illustrious and diverse career as a writer and many other things. Vonnegut’s diversity of life experiences led him to develop a more cynical perspective of life’s trials and tribulations, which shone through in his work. Vonnegut earned a reputation for criticizing the more elitist affluent people in society and in government. Sandford discusses the stylistic differences in each of his works, tending to change genres from book to book between science fiction and war horror. Ultimately, Sandford sought to discuss whether Vonnegut would have sided with the liberals or conservatives considering recent social rights movements and COVID restrictions. He speculated that Vonnegut would likely side with more liberal perspectives, but in all honesty, we could not actually know for certain.

Vonnegut, Kurt. “Fates worse than death.” The North American Review 267.4 (1982): 46-49.

This article is from “…the oldest literary magazine in the US.” In the article, Vonnegut details a number of things he thinks are “worse than death” and discusses some of his world views. Because it is somewhat opinionated, this article may not be conducive to finding out more about the historical aspect of Vonnegut’s work, but it shows more of his style as a writer and some of his thoughts about different things going on at that time.

Vonnegut, Kurt. “Why You Can’t Stop Me From Speaking Ill of Thomas Jefferson.” Nation, vol. 298, no. 15, Apr. 2014, pp. 22–25. EBSCOhost, =a9h&AN=95116096&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

A speech was written by Vonnegut himself to give on Sept 16th, 2000, at a Civil Liberties union. Vonnegut discusses his high school background and social setting. He grew up in Indiana and explains the advantages of being a white male in this segregated and patriarchal society. Vonnegut illustrates the divide between black and white schools and the allotted opportunities undoubtedly favored folks with white skin. Also, he explains how society has been unfair to women, considering Vonnegut was strongly influenced by many brilliant female teachers during his academic career. He ends his speech criticizing the ambiguity of the Bill of Rights in not equitably protecting the rights of all men and women.

Ward, Joseph J. ““Oh, the Humanity!”: Kurt Vonnegut and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy’s Existential Rejoinder to the Irrationality of the Human Condition.” The Humanistic Psychologist 39.2 (2011): 105. 10.1080/08873267.2011.540151.

In this journal article, Joseph Ward uses a multidisciplinary approach, including literature, existential philosophy, and humanistic psychology, to discuss Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).  This article delves into Kurt Vonnegut’s works to analyze the human condition and existentialism.  Ward seems to suggest that studying fiction in this way is essential in understanding ourselves and the world around us.  This will lead to self-awareness which will ultimately lead to human freedom.  This text is useful in acquiring an understanding of how to interpret the human condition through literature.  It also gives a wonderful insight into possible ways that Vonnegut’s works can enhance understanding of the human condition.

Whitlark, Jim. “Literature as Early Warning.” Dynamical Psychology: An International, Interdisciplinary Journal of Complex Mental Processes, Jan. 2009, pp. 1–16.

This article takes a psychological approach to authors such as Kurt Vonnegut and how they are essential to society.  The article discusses how Vonnegut views authors and artists as being more sensitive to things that are happening around them, and through this, they can warn others who are less sensitive of things before they are aware of them.  This article discusses how the author’s pain reflects societal woes, which will then reflect in their writing whether intentional or not.  This text is useful in acquiring an understanding of how societal changes and affect an author’s individual view of the word and thus affect their writing.  This article clarifies how Vonnegut viewed authors and possibly his own writing, which will lead to a better interpretation of his work.


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Beginnings and Endings: A Critical Edition Copyright © 2021 by Liza Long is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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