Theme Of Fate In Slaughterhouse Five

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Slaughterhouse Five In Slaughterhouse Five, the main character of the novel, Billy Pilgrim, is “unstuck” from time and travels to various events in his life. Billy knows the outcomes of the events that he travels to: however, he does nothing to intervene with the course of events. Throughout Slaughterhouse Five, the theme of fate versus free will or lack thereof is explored by the actions of Billy Pilgrim and his journey through time. Billy Pilgrim gains his ability to become “unstuck” in time after he is kidnapped by the Tralfamadorians and taken to their home planet of Tralfamadore. The Tralfamadorians illustrate their perception of time to Billy. They see humans as being stuck like “bugs in amber” unable to move in time or change their…show more content…
The only true free will that the characters have is their ability to fantasize their own future rather than change the course of the life that they live. The book visits the concept of free will or lack thereof when Billy travels back in time to revisit important events in his life. The Tralfamadorians perceive time and actions as something that is set and cannot be changed “All time is time. It does not change” (Vonnegut 109). For example, while Billy is with Montana Wildhack on the planet of Tralfamadore, the time and human will is explained as moments that are “structured that she had to do so” (Vonnegut 266). As seen by the Tralfamadorians humans are merely “bugs in amber” unable to escape their fate or change their own destiny (Vonnegut 109). Rather than being able to control their own destiny every action of their lives is already set and there is nothing that anyone can do to change the course of their life. Knowing this the Tralfamadorians advise Billy to “concentrate on the happy moments of his life, and ignore the unhappy ones” (Vonnegut 249). Since destiny is predetermined and humans are unable to change their own fate humans are at the mercy of the events that occur unable to be changed by their own doing. Billy realizes this and submits…show more content…
I believe that one's fate is up to the actions of the individual. If everyone agreed that fate was determined and that you could do nothing to change your own fate life would be a boring, monotone series of events structured out with no change. I believe that every action that you make changes the outcome of your life and the smallest events can have some of the most magnanimous affects on your life. In my experience it is the small decisions that you make that impact the larger decisions that you make later in life. For example a small task such as forgetting to brush your teeth one morning could lead you to not speak up during a discussion in class for fear of your bad breath which could fail to change the course of the discussion and fail to impact someone in a way that could later change the course of their day. Nothing forced you to forget to complete this task you lack of memory or time to do so did. There are over seven billion people that live on this earth and it would be infeasible for there to be a set structured series of events that would transpire for each individual. Free will gives meaning and purpose to one's life. Knowing that one can change their own situation for the better and gives importance to life. Without this life would be meaningless and bland with the events of your life unfolding before you as
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