Slaughterhouse 5

Topics: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Death Pages: 2 (494 words) Published: May 18, 2013
I killed two people with this gun. One American boy, age 14 in 8th grade living a good life in the state of Mississippi. One African American, age 13, also living in Mississippi. The American was a big sports fan, loving to wrestle and run track. The African American liked sports as well, lacrosse and basketball. At this point pretty much anyone that lives in Jackson, Mississippi knows these facts. If you don’t, I guess social media isn’t your thing. While the names and backgrounds of these two children are well known, who knows the names of at least 50 people out of the thousands that perished in the raid of Dresden? While I see it wrong to compare deaths and say which was a greater death, I can say that the Dresden bombing had a greater global impact than this murder event. So why is it that people can spit out facts about the “less significant” two murdered people but can’t even say the names of some of the people that lost their lives in the greatest bombing event in WWII?

The answer to this question lies deep inside humans that we ourselves don’t want to peruse because we are afraid of what we’ll find. It’s a cruel fact, yet it’s true, that people get used to others dying. When two individuals suffer, others can mourn and sympathize with their family. Once the death toll increases to the hundreds, each increasing death becomes a mathematical representation rather than another human being with dreams. The reality is

This tangent highlights as well as complicates a central theme about war in the novel. Vonnegut uses Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time to discover the true meaning of war. The phrase “so it goes” used repeatedly throughout the novel comes from the Tralfamadorian philosophy that Billy learns in his time travels. The Tralfamadorian view is that “when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral” (27). Billy Pilgrim adopts his philosophy so that when...
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