Passage from Slaughter House Five with Commentary

Topics: Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim Pages: 2 (557 words) Published: January 9, 2013
Passage from Slaughterhouse-Five By Kurt Vonnegut

Weary was as new to war as Billy. He was a re-1
placement, too. As a part of a gun crew, he had helped2
to fire one shot in anger---from a 57-millimeter antitank3 gun. The gun made a ripping sound like the opening 4
of the zipper on the fly of God Almighty. The gun5
lapped up snow and vegetation with blowtorch6
thirty feet long. The flame left a black arrow on the7
ground, showing Germans exactly where the gun8
was hidden. The shot was a miss.9
What had been missed was a Tiger tank. It swiveled10
its 88-millimeter snout around sniffingly, saw the arrow11 on the ground. It fired. It killed everybody on the gun 12 crew but Weary. So it goes.13

Roland Weary was only eighteen, was at the end14
of an unhappy childhood spent mostly in Pittsburgh15
Pennsylvania. He had been unpopular in Pittsburgh.16
He had been unpopular because he was stupid and17
fat and mean, and smelled like bacon no matter how18
much he washed. He was always being ditched in 19
Pittsburgh by the people who did not want him with 22
It made Weary sick to be ditched. When Weary was22
ditched, he would find somebody who was even more23
unpopular than himself, and he would horse around24
with that person for a while, pretending to be friendly.25 And then he would find some pretext for beating the 26
shit out of him.27
It was a pattern. It was a crazy, sexy, murderous28
relationship Weary entered into with people he 29
eventually beat up. He told them about his father’s 30
collection of guns and swords and torture instruments31
and leg irons and so on. Weary’s father, who was a 32
plumber, actually did collect such things, and his col-33
lection was insured for four thousand dollars. He 34
wasn’t alone. He belonged to a big clud composed of 35
people who collect things like that.36
Weary’s father once gave...
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