Vonnegut’s characterization of Billy Pilgrim as extremely passive and almost helpless constructs a central theme to the novel, questioning the application of free will in the human lifestyle. While Vonnegut does not directly characterize Billy as an isolated and passive character throughout Slaughterhouse-Five, he does provide the reader with a rather distinct set of events that reveal the extent to which Billy has become disconnected from the rest of the world. Other characters throughout the novel view Billy as weak and undesirable, causing Billy to take on an attitude of detachment. Upon discovery of extraterrestrial life and the existen...
... middle of paper ...
Adults. Ed. Kirk H. Beetz and Suzanne Niemeyer. Washington, D.C.:
Beacham, 1990. 1231-35. Print.
Bryant, Tim. "futility in Slaughterhouse-Five." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 1 Jan. 2014
Chabot, C. Barry. "'Slaughterhouse-Five' and the Comforts of Indifference."
World Literature Criticism. Ed. James P. Draper. Detroit: Gale, 1992.
Farrell, Susan. "Slaughterhouse-Five." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 1 Jan. 2014
Peck, David. "Slaughterhouse-Five." Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and
Fantasy Literature. Ed. A. J. Sobczak. Englewood Cliffs: Salem, 1996.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions Who would have ever thought the way a radioactive particle decays would relate to whether or not we have bad attitudes towards life. Who would have ever suspected that the structure of space-time would be so closely linked to whether or not we would marry rich wives. And who indeed would have ever expected that the properties of light might affect whether or not we go on homicidal rampages. Perhaps Kurt Vonnegut did. Could it be possible that a writer known more for his pictures of assholes than his knowledge of advanced physics actually centered some of the deepest concepts in his works on the philosophical implications of gen... [tags: Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse Breakfast Essays]
3300 words (9.4 pages)
- One of my favorite books is Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and I think that it is an excellent example of finding order in disorder. Vonnegut uses the main character, Billy, and the Tralfamadorians’ sense of time, to find order in the chaos that was the bombing of Dresden. Vonnegut has given me a new outlook on my life heading into the future and has helped me to find order in the chaos that is life’s misfortunes. Vonnegut starts off the book by saying “I thought it would be easy for me to write about the destruction of Dresden.” This is important because Vonnegut is acknowledging that he can’t just write about what happened to him during Dresden because “There is nothing intelligent t... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Death]
1077 words (3.1 pages)
- Baruch Spinoza once said “Experience teaches us no less clearly than reason, that men believe themselves free, simply because they are conscious of their actions and unconscious of the causes whereby those actions are determined.” He compared free-will with destiny and ended up that what we live and what we think are all results of our destiny; and the concept of the free-will as humanity know is just the awareness of the situation. Similarly, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five explores this struggle between free-will and destiny, and illustrates the idea of time in order to demonstrate that there is no free-will in war; it is just destiny.... [tags: Kurt Vonnegut novel]
898 words (2.6 pages)
- Slaughterhouse-Five is a story of Billy Pilgrim 's capture by the Nazi Germans during the last years of World War II. Throughout the narrative, excerpts of Billy’s life are portrayed from his pre-war self to his post-war insanity. Billy is able to move both forward and backwards through his life in a random cycle of events. Living the dull life of a 1950s optometrist in Ilium, New York, he is the lover of a provocative woman on the planet Tralfamadore, and simultaneously an American prisoner of war in Nazi Germany.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Kilgore Trout]
762 words (2.2 pages)
- In order to illustrate the devastating affects of war, Kurt Vonnegut afflicted Billy Pilgrim with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which caused him to become “unstuck in time” in the novel. Billy Pilgrim illustrates many symptoms of PTSD throughout the story. Vonnegut uses these Slaughterhouse Five negative examples to illustrate the horrible and devastating examples of war. The examples from the book are parallel to real life experiences of war veterans, including Vonnegut’s, and culminate in a very effective anti-war novel.... [tags: Slaughterhouse Five]
1779 words (5.1 pages)
- In Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim becomes “unstuck” in time. The question here is, why. The fact of the matter is that he does not actually begin to time-travel. Billy “becomes unstuck” as a coping mechanism to deal with his traumatic experiences during the war. Billy attempts to reorganize his life’s events and cope with a disorder known as post traumatic stress (PTSD). “Post traumatic stress disorder is a debilitating condition that follows a terrifying event” (Marilyn 8). It occurs when one has witnessed or experienced a traumatic event, such as war, child abuse, or other types of violence.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five]
1243 words (3.6 pages)
- Within the novel Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, the character Billy Pilgrim claims to have come “unstuck” in time. Having survived through being a Prisoner of War and the destruction of Dresden during World War II, and having been a prisoner used to clear away debris of the destruction, there can be little doubt that Pilgrim’s mental state was unstable. Furthermore, it may be concluded that Pilgrim, due to the effects of having been a Prisoner of War, and having been witness to the full magnitude of destruction, suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which caused him to review the events over and over during the course of his life.... [tags: Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut]
1566 words (4.5 pages)
- Two Sides of Billy Pilgrim in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five War can destroy. War can teach. In Kurt Vonnegut's book Slaughterhouse Five, the central character, Billy Pilgrim, is the outcome of a test. In creating and developing Billy Pilgrim, Vonnegut's intention is to show the effect of modern war on a sensitive person who tries to play the game the way society expects. This, along with family influence, shapes how Billy acts in his two different lives: life in the military and life alone.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five Essays]
411 words (1.2 pages)
- The Life of Billy Pilgrim in Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade Marked by two world wars and the anxiety that accompanies humanity's knowledge of the ability to destroy itself, the Twentieth Century has produced literature that attempts to depict the plight of the modern man living in a modern waste land. If this sounds dismal and bleak, it is. And that is precisely why the dark humor of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. shines through our post-modern age. The devastating bombing of Dresden, Germany at the close of World War II is the subject of Vonnegut's most highly acclaimed work, Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five Essays]
2034 words (5.8 pages)
- Billy Pilgrim as a Christ Figure in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Slaughterhouse Five After reading the novel, Slaughterhouse Five, written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., I found my self in a sense of blankness. The question I had to ask myself was, "Poo-tee-weet?"(Vonnegut p. 215). Yet, the answer to my question, according to Vonnegut was, "So it goes"(Vonnegut p.214). This in fact would be the root of my problems in trying to grasp the character of Billy Pilgrim and the life, in which he leads throughout the novel.... [tags: Slaughterhouse Five Essays]
3080 words (8.8 pages)