Slaughterhouse Five

Slaughterhouse – Five Slaughterhouse-Five 1. Explore the use of So it goes. Is it to be viewed as resignation to the horrors of death? Is it Billy’s response? Vonnegut’s? Yours? So it goes is Billy Pilgrims theory regarding death. He is simply saying that death is no big deal. Since he saw so much death in World War II, and witnessed a bombing two times as worse as Hiroshima, he deals with death much differently than others. Because of everything he has gone through, Billy has become numb to death.

It has become a regular situation in his life. Billy first uses this saying on page 2, when he is talking about the death of Gerhard Mullers mother. Because Billy often travels to and from Tralfamadore, he has become accustomed to using their theories about life. When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is So it Goes (27).

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Billy thinks that there is no complete death, and it has no finality. Humans are often outraged at his theory when they hear Billy talking about it. They cannot comprehend how someone can be so emotionless about death. The most important thing that I learned on Tralfamadore was 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.

All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist (26-27). Billy uses this as a defense mechanism for life. This shows that Billy will always live in a dream world. Billys response is Vonneguts response in Slaughterhouse-Five. But, Vonneguts memories were too painful for him, so he tells his life through Billy Pilgrim. It is viewed as a resignation to the horrors of death because Vonnegut had lived through many tough points in American history; the stock market crash of 1929, the Great Depression, and finally World War II. 7.

Explain the significance of all the material on the title page of this novel. The title page leads off with the other name Kurt Vonnegut gave Slaughterhouse-Five – The Children’s Crusade. This title came from both Mary O’Hare at the beginning of the book and Edgar Derby. Mary became very angry when her husband was talking to Vonnegut because she did not want her children, who were just babies at the time to give up their lives for the war. You’ll pretend you were men instead of babies, and youll be played in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men.

And war will look just wonderful, so we’ll have a lot more of them. And they’ll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs (14). Derby used The Children’s Crusade towards the middle of the book when he was telling the colonel how young every American was in the war. A duty-dance with death refers to the fact that it was the American soldiers task to fight for their country even if it meant that they were going to die. Vonnegut shows this by retelling his thoughts and experiences of World War II through Billy.

Now Vonnegut lives in Cape Cod, and is smoking too much. Since the war is over and he is retired, Vonnegut can now relax and enjoy vacation. He does this often by smoking. An American Infantry Scout Hors de Combat refers to him being a foot soldier in combat during the war. He witnessed the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany. The fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany was a secret ambush of the United States that had double the casualties of those in Hiroshima, Japan from the atomic bomb. Florence is a cultural city in Rome, and the Elbe is a river in Germany.

So by Vonnegut saying, The Florence of the Elbe, he is referring to Dresden as the cultural city of Germany before it got blown into smithereens by the Americans. Vonnegut survived to tell the tale. He was able to survive even after being a prisoner of war (P.O.W.) for a good portion of the war. Slaughterhouse-Five is told somewhat in the telegraphic schizophrenic manner. The Tralfamadorians communicated telepathically. They talked to each other through transference of thought. Vonneguts main character Billy Pilgrim, was schizophrenic.

He had multiple personalities throughout the book. On top of this, he became unstuck in time, allowing him to travel back and forth in time to any part of his life. For instance, in one paragraph he would be in the middle of World War II, and a paragraph later, he would be talking to his wife. Tralfamadore is an imaginary planet 446,120,000,000,000,000 miles away from Earth. This is a place very unlike Earth.

All of the Tralfamadorians can see in four dimensions, as compared to Earthlings, who can only see in three. Tralfamadore also has many interesting theories about life. Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever (27).

Since Billy has traveled many times to Tralfamadore, he uses all of their theories in his life. English Essays.

Slaughterhouse five

Slaghterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, is a story about Billy Pilgrim’s life as he lives in circular time frame. We bounce back and forth to the times of his marraige, time in Tralfamadore, and to the times in Dresden, Germany. It is a very well written book full of war criticism that makes you think about you’re current position in life.

Billy Pilgrim is purely one who “can feel nothing and still get full credit for being alive.” He tells the story in this book, as he gets thrown around into different time periods of his life.
He starts off as an optometrist in Ilium, New York; where he soon became engaged to the daughter of the founder and owner of the school. Shortly after he suffered a mild nervous collapse. Billy oddly never really understood why he married Valencia Merble.
After this it is hard for me to piece together quite what he is doing next, for he jumps around to different periods of time so frequently, but i guess he is taken to Tralfamadore sometime during his college years.
Tralfamadore is the planet that he is taken to by his alien friends. They show him how foolish humanity looks from an outside view, and just how easy it is to live in peace. The Tralfamadorians can not understand why the earthlings fight instead of love. They place Billy in a sort of ‘zoo’. He lives in a simulation of a house, just with no walls. They bring to Billy a beautiful actress by the name of Montana Wildhack who falls in love with Billy during her time there. The Tralfamadorians loved to see how they lived and reacted to each other.
Billy is also to be sent into war. The only problem is that Billy has no desire to hurt anyone and ends up wandering around with no weapon, making his position well known to the enemy. If it wasnt for Roland Weary, he would have been blown to bits in the middle of an open road. Eventually they get captured and brought by train to a camp. Some died on the trains and the men had to withstand being cramped next to a dead man for days. When they got to the camp, they were fed and were able to watch performances. Billy ate nothing, and in turn saved himself from becoming sick like the others. They were shortly taken to Dresden, after the Russians could no longer stand looking at the Americans. They wrote bad reports about the condition of the army, complaining about how white they were, and how they were just a group of young boys thrown into a battle they shouldn’t have been in.

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In Dresden, the men enjoyed some freedoms in between working. They could at least be allowed to go about the city, and not be restrained to a certain place. Billy mixed giant tubs of syrup, which he had hidden spoons to take constant tastes of. Soon Billy and the rest of the Americans were taken into another room of the slaughterhouse building number five. They were warned the great city was going to be attacked. They could hear the planes and fire above, and when they arose from their building, they realized they were the only ones left.
Billy was glad to see the war over, now he could go back home. He enjoyed fooling the humans around him and reading his Kilgore Trout books, full of humor only few could understand.
Bibliography:
this book is a bibliography

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