Free Slaughterhouse-Five Essays: Manipulation of Time and Place

Free Slaughterhouse-Five Essays: Manipulation of Time and Place

Length: 441 words (1.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


Slaughterhouse Five - Manipulation of Time and Place

 Kurt Vonnegut's manipulation of time and place adds a science- fiction element to Slaughterhouse-Five. Structarally, the novel is far from traditional.

Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist, jumps from place to place and is in a constant time warp while on the planet Tralfamadore. Since Vonnegut uses the planet Tralfamadore and the Tralfamadorian people to take Billy from place to place and time frame to time frame, in the novel he constantly respects the phrase "So it goes," which describes the Tralfamadorians' view of death. Vonnegut's manipulation of time and place is definitely unusual.

Billy, an optometrist in Ilium, New York, finds himself "time tripping" with the people on Tralfamadore. To the Tralfamadorians time does not exist. Billy can be on Tralfamadore for years, while only being absent from earth for a microsecond (26). Billy's "time tripping" also allows Vonnegut to join the three main settings and experiences of the book: the horrors of the war and Dresden, Billy's normal life in Illim, and his time on Tralfamadore.

Billy has no control over his being in a time warp. In the midst of his life in New York he will suddenly find himself Tralfamadore; he has become "unstuck in time" ( 22). The Tralfamadorians eventually show Billy the important moments of his life, but they do not always show them in sequence. They do this so Billy can fully understand the true reasons for and the importance of the events.

Vonnegut also uses this tactic of time manipulation. He tells and shows the occurrences of Billy's life in a juxtaposed manner which parallels the "time tripping." The "time tripping" and being "unstuck in time" allow Vonnegut to present the events of the war in a sequence through which they would have the greatest impact on the reader.

Vonnegut's manipulation of time and place in Slaughterhouse-Five allows him to use the phrase "So it goes" for special impact . The phrase appears after every death scene. It allows the bridge from death to life, and it also allows Vonnegut to change the time frame or place of the action. According to one source, the phrase "So it goes" appears in the novel over 100 times (Boomhower).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Slaughterhouse-Five Essays: Manipulation of Time and Place." 123HelpMe.com. 12 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=3015>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut Essay

- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is an anti-war historical fiction novel about the bombings of Dresden, Germany in 1945 at the end of World War II. Slaughterhouse-Five succeeds as a historical fiction novel because it is fictional and imaginative but also set in the past, rooted in factual information about that time period and the events that took place in Dresden. Much of the historical information in Slaughterhouse-Five is considered eye-witness information because the novel is semi-autobiographical because Kurt Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden and he also survived the fire bombings....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut]

Research Papers
1232 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut

- Slaughterhouse-Five, written by Kurt Vonnegut, is an anti-war book about the firebombing of Dresden, which the author witnessed in World War II. In the book, the reader is introduced with the main character Billy Pilgrim, who seems to have come "unstuck in time," rendering him the ability to travel or relive the past, present, and future (Vonnegut). Billy learns later on, from an alien race named the Tralfamadorians, that all time exists simultaneously. Vonnegut begins the book, however, with anecdotes from when he was just starting to write the book and how writing it led him to develop new ideas on war....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut]

Research Papers
2023 words (5.8 pages)

Slaughterhouse Five And The Impact Of War On The Individual Essay

- Slaughterhouse-Five and the Impact of War on the Individual War effects people in multiple ways, some worse than others. “Studies suggest that between twenty and thirty percent of returning veterans suffer, to varying degrees, from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a mental-health condition triggered by some type of terror, or a traumatic brain injury, which occurs when the brain is jolted so violently that it collides with the inside of the skull, causing psychological damage (Finkel 36).” Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the most common form of affect on an individual involved in warfare, whether it is the victim or the perpetrator....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut]

Research Papers
1035 words (3 pages)

Essay on Slaughterhouse Five, By Kurt Vonnegut

- Kurt Vonnegut has built a universe for Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Five where Billy’s cruel, unforgiving reality is contrasted by a philosophical utopia where he has learned to operate without the pains of being human. Within this self-described ‘telegraphic’ and ‘schizophrenic’ novel, Vonnegut manages to swing the reader halfway across the galaxy to a planet inhabited by a plunger-like race called the Tralfamadorians, take them into the harrowing depths of a POW camp, and show you a man who is increasingly coming undone at the seams after having lived with the psychological terrors of the Dresden bombing....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Kilgore Trout]

Research Papers
2076 words (5.9 pages)

Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut Essay

- In his novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut dips his words in satire and sprinkles them with hidden themes that can only be understood if one takes the necessary steps to seek them out. Upon dissecting these themes, I have come to find Vonnegut’s novel as one that unveils the mediocre reality of how society acts and thinks and offers suggestions on how the it should actually be. Such themes are also found in other pieces of literature, that when compared, evoke a better understanding of Slaughterhouse-Five....   [tags: Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Kilgore Trout]

Research Papers
1133 words (3.2 pages)

Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut Essay

- Craycraft 1 Miller Craycraft Teacher Name English I Honors Summer Assignment July 20, 2015 Slaughterhouse Five Slaughterhouse Five, a novel written by Kurt Vonnegut, is a story of Billy Pilgrim. This antiwar, science fiction novel takes place approximately between 1945-1968 in the United States. The novel primarily follows Billy Pilgrim on a journey of sometimes real life and other times post traumatic war memories of being in a meat locker in Dresden, where he narrowly escapes death....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Kilgore Trout]

Research Papers
944 words (2.7 pages)

Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut Essay

- In Slaughterhouse Five written by Kurt Vonnegut, the plot focuses on a man who tends to regress back to his childhood, and earlier life using three important themes. These important themes are the destructiveness of war, the illusion of free will, and the importance of sight. In this novel, Kurt Vonnegut reflects on his experiences in the war in 1945 as a prisoner of war. This man is named Billy Pilgrim. Billy Pilgrim is a former prisoner of war who tends to be stuck in the same mindset as before....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kilgore Trout, Kurt Vonnegut]

Research Papers
1025 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Slaughterhouse Five Is Not Written As An Anti War Story

- Slaughterhouse Five is the ideology of the 1960’s counterculture poured into a fictional autobiography, creating one of the most powerful anti-war books in history. This story is the fictional memoir of Kurt Vonnegut, a WWII veteran, who has suffered the effects of war on the human psyche. Slaughterhouse Five is not written as an anti-war story, however its portrayal of the destruction as a story leaves the reader with a sense of disgust. Vonnegut created this story during the counterculture’s rebellion against the Vietnam Conflict, several counterculture ideas are apparent throughout his story....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut]

Research Papers
1232 words (3.5 pages)

The Use of Fragmentation in Slaughterhouse-Five Essay

- The Use of Fragmentation in Slaughterhouse-Five In the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut uses fragmentation of time, structure and character in order to unify his non-linear narrative. Vonnegut's main character, Billy Pilgrim, travels back and forth in his own life span "paying random visits to all events in between" (SF 23). The result is Billy's life is presented as a series of episodes without any chronological obligations. This mirrors the structure of the novel which has a beginning, middle and end but not in their traditional places....   [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five Essays]

Free Essays
1478 words (4.2 pages)

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 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....   [tags: Slaughterhouse Five Essays]

Research Papers
3080 words (8.8 pages)

Related Searches



Vonnegut's unusual manipulation of time and place in Slaughterhouse-Five makes the novel one of a kind. The time tripping and Billy's being "unstuck in time" allow for the book to take many different routes. Furthermore, they allow Vonnegut to present occurrences of the Dresden experience in a way that would have the greatest impact on the reader. The manipulation of time enables Vonnegut to intertwine some science-fiction elements into his anti-war novel.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com