By Susan Farrell
This source offers a competent, updated, and encyclopedic resource of data on Vonnegut's existence and paintings for top tuition and college-level scholars, academics, libraries, and most of the people.
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Additional info for Critical Companion to Kurt Vonnegut: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work
When the family turns to Laird to respond, he rushes out of the house and departs in his waiting taxi. The story closes with Laird back in his hotel room that night, calling his second wife, Selma, on the phone. Readers find out that Laird is, in fact, a traveling salesman who lives a staid middle-class existence in a subdivision in Levittown, New York, with his wife and several children. COMMENTARY Levittown, New York, where readers discover that Eddie Laird actually lives at the end of the story, was the first mass-produced American suburb, built mostly between 1947 and 1951, although officially finished in 1958.
Clearly, the characters feel hemmed in by their ordinary, domestic lives and long for adventure and romance. Amy is reluctant 26 “Bagombo Snuff Box” to invite Eddie Laird to her home because “the house is a horror” and she’s “a witch” (171). She worries that such a visit will be a “hideous letdown” for someone who has traveled “from Ceylon by way of Baghdad, Rome, and New York” (171). Harry, too, seems to become increasingly dissatisfied with his very ordinary life as he listens to Eddie’s wild tales.
Dr. Powers is the young, tired, redheaded doctor who delivers the Knechtmann’s new son. He initially gets Mrs. Knechtmann mixed up with Mrs. Sousa and seems too weary to recognize the miracle that the birth represents to the Knechtmanns. Soldier In the hospital lobby, Heinz Knechtmann sees a soldier making a call home to inform his family of the baby his wife just gave birth to. Heinz longs to make a call as well, but his own family is gone, killed by the Nazis during the war. Sousa, Mr. Mr. Sousa is a Chicago man at the same lying-in hospital as the Knechtmanns.