Billy Pilgrim as a Christ Figure in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Slaughterhouse Five

Billy Pilgrim as a Christ Figure in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Slaughterhouse Five

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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. The pilgrimage that Billy ventures upon is one of mass confusion, running with insanity, finally followed by sanctuary, if layed out in a proper time order sequence. Billy is a victim, prophet, survivor, as well as a firm example of innocence and inspiration. The answer man in a society searching for answers. He is the new prophet. Yet, can Billy pilgrim be compared to the, "Savior", Himself? Is Billy molded after Christ? Aren't we all prophets, if we are children of God? Is Billy a living testament of a new religion? These are the questions that need to be examined in order to fully understand the essence behind the character of Billy Pilgrim.

The first area that should be examined is the aspect of the pursuit of the acquired knowledge of being. Billy, who believes in the concept of destiny, without the use of free will, received this lesson from the aliens on Tralfamadorian. Meanwhile, Jesus Christ gained his views supposedly from the creator Himself, by being the Son of the God. Yet, the creator who controls all of life and knows all is extremely comparable to the citizens of Tralfamadorian. These four dimensional beings can see time from beginning to end in any particular order and play a godlike role in existing by seein...


... middle of paper ...


... Billy was to keep the time sequence of the universe in stable order. God touched the two men; Jesus led by the Creator, while Billy was a follower of science and time. Which god is the true God and from that which man is the Christ? Vonnegut's Christ is of the modern gospel and is a very convincing prophet. The idea is debatable either way and shall be argued for quite sometime.


Works Cited

Martin, Robert A. "Slaughterhouse-Five: Vonnegut's Domed Universe". Carrollton:
Notes on Contemporary Literature, 1987 March, 17:2, p.5-8.

Mustazza, Leonard. Forever Pursuing Genesis: The Myth of Eden in the Novels of Kurt
Vonnegut. Toronto: Bucknell University Press, 1990. p. 102-115.

New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Nashville: National Publishing
Company, 1968.

Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. Slaughterhouse-Five. New York: Dell Publishing Co. 1982.

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