A Tralfamadorian Work

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A Tralfamadorian Work

The Tralfamadorians give an example of how their stories, or ‘telegrams’, are in no specific order and are read all at once to create a story. Vonnegut uses this same concept in writing Slaughterhouse-Five by having small stories in no particular order, but when read together create an in depth story of Billy Pilgrim’s life. While not a complete failure, one must realize that it is not truly a Tralfamadorian novel. While the passage that shows a snippet of Tralfmadorian literature is a window into how we should attempt to read Slaughterhouse-Five, we cannot truly read it as a Tralfamadorian piece of work. The Tralfamadorians make it clear from the very beginning of their description that humans can't begin to understand one of their novels, so how can we really expect an earthling to be any more successful at writing one? In short, we cannot expect such a thing. Slaughterhouse-Five has all the signs of being Tralfamadorian in nature. The Tralfamadorians state that in their literature, "there is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects" (Vonnegut 112). Slaughterhouse-Five is in no logical order, meaning there is no beginning, middle, or end. It is presented as sporadic, in the Tralfamadorian fashion. There is a definite lack of suspense since Vonnegut tells us at the beginning of the novel how it begins and ends. Every time death is mentioned in Slaughterhouse-Five there is no sense of remorse, or an overall sensation of morals. This lack of morals is demonstrated by the phrases "and so on" and "so it goes" that are usually following scenes of death. This use of language gives a feeling that death is not a big deal and something that should not be paid excessive attention to. The novel is also told with no logical sense of cause and effect. It often seems that whatever the effects are going to occur, will occur regardless of the different causes actually occurring. Since the reader already knows both...
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