Vonnegut is moved to Dresden and survives the bombing accidently because the pris... ... middle of paper ... ... served in World War II and became a prisoner of war after the Battle of the Bulge. Kurt Vonnegut creates a fiction character named Billy Pilgrim in his novel to tell his story of what happened to him as a prisoner of war in Germany. This novel shows us how Billy Pilgrim acts after the war and how it has affected him tremendously. For example, years after the war when his plane crashes, the Austrians who save him say something in German and Billy thinks he is back in Dresden. This is a sign that Billy is suffering from PTSD because remembering the events like it is happening in the present is one of the symptoms.
The story uses time travel to give the reader a glimpse into different segments of Billy’s life, not just the war part. Vonnegut (1969) writes, “Billy is spastic in time, has no control over where he is going next, and the trips aren’t necessarily fun.” Vonnegut (1969) writes that Billy first became “unstuck in time” during the war. After his regiment was destroyed by the Germans, Billy was a dazed wanderer behind enemy lines (Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five). During that era, Billy’s condition would have been called “shell shock” or “battle fatigue” (McClellend). Today, veterans that are suffering from psychiatric issues are diagnosed with PTSD.
Vonnegut, as well as being a POW, was forced to shovel out the dead corpses of his fellow soldiers. Vonnegut thinks back to his time on the front lines as well as his post-war life, thus creating his seminal alter ego, Billy Pilgrim who is used to escape Vonnegut’s reality. “He constantly relives his war experiences...” (Williams) through Billy. He uses this source of fiction to escape his emotions relating to this evil timespan of war. Exceedingly, Vonnegut explains in further detail the horrors of war, “his escapism and fatalistic philosophy do not protect him from the memories of the horrors” (Williams).
Survivors of the ghastly battles had the images and memories scarred into their minds. Young men were sent to war, and what they saw changed them forever. One of these men was a certain ambulance driver on the Italian Front. He witnessed the effects of the new innovations on the human body, and the devastation they caused. That man was Ernest Hemmingway, and after the war, he translated his memories and experiences into the literature that is now famous.
This is because of his firsthand experience in his involvement in World War I. He had been exposed to the horrors of war himself. In the story "Soldier's Home" a man who represents Hemingway comes home from World War I much to late. No one appreciated what he had done for his country and was forever psychologically damaged. He came home as a totally different person and now couldn't lead a normal life.
It is a personal novel about the author, Kurt Vonnegut, and his struggles and experiences during World War II and how they impacted his life. Upon reading into the latter chapters of the novel, you can see that the first impression of the book’s content is defunct because cleverly intermittent themes, contrasts, and morals can be identified. Through a simple man named Billy Pilgrim, Vonnegut disguises a lecture against war and an acceptance of death. The story begins with a warning that the novel was hard for Vonnegut to create. “This one is a failure”, he writes, “since it was written by a pillar of salt” (Vonnegut 22).
The Things They Carried represents a compound documentary novel written by a Vietnam veteran, Tim O'Brien, in whose accounts on the Vietnam war one encounters graphical depictions of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Thus, the stories "Speaking of Courage," "The Man I Killed," "How to Tell a True War Story," "Enemies" and "Friends," "Stockings," and "The Sweetheart of The Song Tra Bong "all encompass various examples of PTSD. "The war was over and there was no place in particular to go" (157). Thoughts of sorrow and loss overwhelm the Vietnam veterans upon their return back home. Crushed from the horror of war, they come back to even bigger disappointments and sadness.
Lauraly Gonzalez Mrs. Jarrell Research Paper 21 April, 2017 Billy Pilgrim, A Captivating Character Within the complex seesaw storyline in Slaughterhouse-five, Vonnegut contributed his war experiences in the main character, Billy Pilgrim. Along with these horrific memories during World War Ⅱ , the element of time travel is evident in the novel, allowing Billy to repress these painful memories and follow the philosophy he learned on Tralfamador. Despite his nonchalant attitude towards death itself throughout the novel, Billy is an alienated individual with the philosophy that he can do nothing to change the destruction brought about by people and uses time travel to avoid seeing the human suffering that he cannot accept, brought about in Dresden,
War can be as damaging to the human body as it is to the mind. In Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, this idea that war causes psychological disorders is represented throughout the book through the main character, Paul Baumer. This book follows the lives of young soldiers in World War I. Together, these men create powerful bonds. They go through terrifying experiences that continue to strengthen their bonds, but also destroy their mental state.
Billy's memories and his stream of consciousness are used to give sensory impressions of his actions and thoughts by his time travel, as well as also provide other details in his life and World War II (Schatt 89). Billy encounters a sleep-like state when he becomes “unstuck in time (Vonnegut 29)” and this occurs for different reasons. One of the major reasons for Billy to become “unstuck in time” is the atrocities of the Holocaust, together with the firebombing of Dresden, make for such painful memories. “Because of the shock of this event, Billy becomes a perpetual prisoner of war, returning again and again in his mind to this scene (“Slaughterhouse-Five, or the Children's Crusade”).” Within the book, Dresden seems to be the center of all the major action taking place. It is no wonder almost all Billy's thoughts is his remembrance of his wartime encounters during his captivation as a prisoner.