top-rated free essay

Slaughterhouse-Five

By mandyreinhart Feb 06, 2013 565 Words
SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE
OR THE CHILDRENS CRUSADE

Billy Pilgrim

|

Page 1
Billy is the main character which emphasis of the whole book is placed. The novel is about four sides of Billy’s life: First his past life as a soldier in World War II; Next his present, uneventful life as a husband, father, and optometrist in Ilium, New York; Then his time travels that take him into the past and into the future; and lastly his life as a prisoner on the distant planet of Trafalmadore. Of the four parts of Billy’s life, the greatest emphasis in the novel is placed on his life as a soldier, because it controls both his past and his present. Billy Pilgrim, a Laid back man who takes life as it comes, without complaining and without trying to control it. While he becomes a successful optometrist, marries Valencia, and has two children, he never really takes charge of his life. Instead, he allows fate to control him and time traveling to direct him. When the Trafalmadorians come to kidnap him, he goes out to meet them, doing nothing to stop his capture. When he tries to tell the world about the Trafalmadorians and their way of life, he is judged to be insane, especially by his daughter, who blames his crazy stories on his head injury received in a plane crash.

I believe the Ethical dilemma in this novel is the inhumanity of war, as seen in the destruction of Dresden. Vonnegut is clearly pointing out in the novel that voluntary violence of any sort, particularly which perpetrated by a war, is completely unjustifiable and senseless. This leads to a lot of meaningless death. For Instance Billy Pilgrim is killed by an assassin hired to revenge Roland Weary’s death, Edgar Derby is executed by a firing squad for stealing a teacup from the Dresden ruins, Wild Bob dies of double pneumonia in a German railroad yard, “and so it goes”.

Billy Pilgrim deals with being in the war differently than others in my opinion. After the war Billy returns to Ilium New York and tries to live a normal life. He still struggles obviously with his war experiences; he is so haunted by the memories of fighting and the destruction of Dresden that he has a nervous breakdown and voluntarily checks himself into a mental hospital. When he is in the hospital, Billy begins to contemplate his ability to travel through time. He is often taken to his past and to his future; however, the most frequent trip is back to Germany and the war.

The advice I would give to him is; he needs to find a different way to explain to people. He looks as if he can not tell the difference between fiction and nonfiction. So people are less likely to listen, unless he changes the way he explain.

As for me and Billy Pilgrim being friends. I do not really think I would be able to be friends with him. He is a little weird for me. I could not just sit and listen to him rambling on and on. The time travel thing is just a little much for me. I believe that I could learn to be more open minded from Billy. I would maybe teach Billy to be a little more tactful when he is telling people about the planet of Trafalmadore.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Slaughterhouse Five: An Amazing Story

    ...that can motivate people to do many things. Many people have been inspired to write stories, poems, or songs about war. Many of these examples tend to reflect feelings against war. Kurt Vonnegut is no different and his experience with war inspired him to write a series of novels starting with Slaughter-House Five. It is a unique novel expres...

    Read More
  • The Theme of Time in Slaughterhouse Five

    ...In many novels, the idea of time is handled in different ways to keep the story at a smooth pace. Kurt Vonnegut, the author of Slaughterhouse-Five, uses time as a way to give the reader an idea of what his main character’s life was like and what he had gone through throughout his life. Vonnegut’s manipulation of time may make the story con...

    Read More
  • Slaughterhouse Five Book Review

    ...Slaughterhouse Five tells the story of Billy Pilgrim who has become “unstuck in time.” Young Billy is born and raised in Ilium, New York, he is "tall and weak, and shaped like a bottle of Coca-Cola," and studying to be an optometrist. He is drafted into the U.S. military and despite his scrawny, weak build, he is sent to Europe to fight. Whi...

    Read More
  • The Destructiveness of War in Slaughterhouse-Five

    ...intelligent to say about a massacre” (Vonnegut, 19). Kurt Vonnegut experienced first hand the Dresden Fire Bombing of World War II. The Dresden Fire Bombing was a massacre that was designed by the allies to kill as many German civilians as possible. Because of Vonnegut’s war torn mind, it took him nearly 25 years to write Slaughterhouse-Fiv...

    Read More
  • Slaughterhouse-Five - Realitivity of Time

    ...Many writers in history have written science fiction novels and had great success with them, but only a few have been as enduring over time as Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. Slaughterhouse-Five is a personal novel which draws upon Vonnegut's experience's as a scout in World War Two, his capture and becoming a prisoner of war, and his witne...

    Read More
  • Slaughterhouse Five analysis of symbolism, imagery, figurative language, tone, and theme.

    ...Slaughterhouse Five SIFTT Sean Lawson Period 1 Slaughterhouse Five, a novel written by Kurt Vonnegut, contains numerous examples of symbolism, imagery, figurative language, tone, and theme. The story isn't very chronological, every thing happens bunched up together. There are numerous settings in the novel. A large portion of the action of the...

    Read More
  • Satire in Slaughterhouse Five

    ...In Slaughterhouse Five, Vonnegut uses satire in the topics of war, aliens, fate and the reasons for life itself. In Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, the author uses many literary devices to bring across his point including black humor, irony, wit and sarcasm. He mainly uses satire throughout the book. Satire is a literary device found in wo...

    Read More
  • Slaughterhouse 5

    ...Lolita Platon Dec. 16, 2010   Slaughterhouse-Five By Kurt Vonnegut   Wars have broken out all over the world, throughout time, and for as longs as  civilizations have been around. Most of the population today has not experienced what  war is like first hand. For Kurt Vonnegut this was not the case. He was a soldier in World War II...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.