Slaughterhouse 5

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Truly Tralfamadorian
Slaughterhouse-Five is an intriguing book written by Kurt Vonnegut covering WWII and the struggles which the soldiers endured throughout the war. However, the book isn’t interesting only for its content; the way the main character experiences and illustrates the book creates room for strange interpretations. This novel is presented in a random, skipping timeline which effectively represents one man’s inability to live a normal life after experiencing the traumatic events of WWII. Main character Billy Pilgrim’s life get’s translated directly to the disjointed collage of the narrative, setting it up for debatable interpretations. Throughout the novel we are experiencing Billy’s life just as he does; without suspense or any logical order; we are randomly orbiting through events, leading up to the firebombing of Dresden, Germany. Taking on a Tralfamadorian narrative creates, for humans, a very jumbled and confusing narrative; however throughout, the text regularly comes back to a chronological order ultimately leading up to the firebombing of Dresden.

Traditional novels of this subject might start with a young Billy Pilgrim and briefly follow him into his older age; or it could start with an elder, wiser Billy Pilgrim; who, throughout the story, flashes back to major events on his life, leading up to the firebombing of Dresden. However, Billy adopts a Tralfamadorian attitude towards life, because this is the best and maybe only way he can make sense of the loose grip on time he is left with after the war. In order to effectively present Billy’s life, the narrative approximates the same attitude while keeping an almost hidden chronological narrative. A Tralfamadorian novel, as discussed in Chapter 5, contains urgent, discrete messages describing scenes and situations; all of which are read simultaneously and put together to create something beautiful and free of moral lesson. The author of a Tralfamadorian novel chooses all the...
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