Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five has been always a popular book that probes into these questions about time travel. In the book, the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, is a World War II veteran who “has come unstuck in time”. Pilgrim travels through time between war period and post war period back and forth. He knows that he will be the only survivor after the bombing of Dresden. He knows that he will survive after the airplane crash. He even claims that he has been kidnapped by the Tralfamadorians who have the ability to see their lives in fourth dimension, time. Despite the fact that Vonnegut depicts characters who embody the philosophical ideas of absurdism in his book, Slaughterhouse-Five, the work of fiction, in fact, satirically criticizes the indifferent human attitude toward life, despises people who believes in fate, and, most essentially, loudly denounces brutality of war, especially modern, mechanized warfare on the scale of World War II.
In his book, Vonnegut utilizes the story of Billy Pilgrim as a satire to rail against the indifferent human attitude towards life. Billy Pilgrim comes unstuck in time. (Vonnegut 29) Moving back and forth in the time, he knows what will happen in his life such as surviving from both the bombing of Dresden and the airplane crash. Nonetheless, his tragedy in Vonnegut’s eye originates from his inborn ability to travel through time. His indifferent attitude toward lives around him...
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...fat. Therefore, Vonnegut through Billy Pilgrim’s voice detests such hypocrisy when facing the survival pressure in the war and regards it as one of human evil.
As has been mentioned, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five successfully conveys Vonnegut’s anti-war messages to his readers in a satirical way. Meanwhile, there are many places in Slaughterhouse Five that symbolized elements of absurdism like Nietzsche’s nihilism and Camus’ notion of revolting. As a final note, human race now stands at the summit of civilizations; however we are unable to win over time. Past cannot be changed and future cannot be foreseen. Time travel has always been alluring but unapproachable for human race. Nevertheless, it may be fortunate for human race not to be able to do so because, without time travel, human potential is unfathomable and the thirst of pursuing can thus be preserved.
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