Chapter 6 Summary

When Billy wakes up again, he is in the prison camp hospital with Lazzaro and Derby. Lazzaro swears to avenge himself on the officer who broke his arm. He describes how he once fed razor blades stuffed inside a steak to a dog that had bitten him. Later, Lazzaro promises Billy Pilgrim that he will kill him someday, too, for the death of Roland Weary. Because Billy is unstuck in time, he has already seen his death more than once. Locked inside a safe deposit box, Billy keeps a cassette tape of himself saying: “I, Billy Pilgrim, will die, have died, and always will die on February thirteenth, 1976.”

The narrative jumps to the day Billy is assassinated in 1976. He is in Chicago, speaking to a large crowd about the Tralfamadorians and their view of time. Because of Lazzaro’s promise to avenge Roland Weary all those years ago, he knows that he will die within the hour. He ends his speech with the reminder that death is not “a terrible thing” because it is only temporary. The police offer Billy protection, but he refuses. A moment later, he is shot and killed by a sniper.

Billy time-jumps back to the POW camp on the Russian border, just after Lazzaro has made his promise to kill him someday. Billy, Lazzaro, and Edgar Derby walk back to the British officers’ makeshift theatre and go to sleep. The next day, the American POWs are transferred to Dresden, Germany. A British officer informs the Americans that because Dresden is an “open city” with no war industries, they will not have to worry about being bombed there. Edgar Derby is elected to be the leader of the American prisoners. He gives a speech, saying that he now considers it his primary responsibility to make sure that the Americans get home safely. His passionate speech is greeted with apathy.

After a short train ride, the POWs arrive in Dresden. The narrator intrudes to comment that the city looks like “Oz”—it is “the loveliest city that most of the Americans had ever seen.” Unlike the other major cities of Germany, it has not...

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Essays About Slaughterhouse-Five