Futile Search for Answers in Slaughterhouse Five

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Futile Search for Answers in Slaughterhouse Five

The book, Slaughter House-Five, written by Kurt Vonnegut, is based on the main character named Billy Pilgrim who is a little "lost" in the head. Billy is always traveling to different parts of his life and rarely in the present state. Throughout the book Billy mainly travels back and forth to three big times in his life. In each different time period of Billy's life he is in a different place; his present state is in a town called Illium and his "travels" are to Dresden and Tralfamadore. When Billy is in Illium he is suppose to have a "normal" life; he is married, has two children, and works as an optometrist. Then Billy travels back to Dresden where he was stationed in the last years of WWII and witnessed the horrible bombing. When Billy travels to Tralfamadore he is in an "imaginary" state, everything that happens to him is more like a dream. Through Billy's travels in time he shows that he is striving to find meaning in the events that happened in his life that he is afraid to acknowledge. As Billy says himself, "All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist," (1) this just proves even further that fact that Billy cannot ever forget any event in his life.

The main event that leads Billy to all his confusion is the time he spent in Dresden and witnessed the fire-bombings that constantly pop in his head along with pictures of all the innocent people Billy saw that fled to Dresden the "safe spot" from the war before the bombing. When Billy sees the faces of the innocent children it represents his fear of the situation. Billy can't acknowledge the fact that they were innocent and they were killed by Americans, Americans soldiers just like himself. The biggest issue Billy cannot come to grasp with is why the bombings took place. That question has no answer; it's just something that happened that Billy couldn't get over. During all Billy's travels back to Dresden he couldn't change what had really happened there although that was the closure he was looking for. Dresden purely represents Bill's past and fears of the truth about what happened.
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