What makes Billy Pilgrim ‘unstuck in time’?

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Billy Pilgrim becomes unstuck in time because of the war. His mental state was completely altered because of his participation in the firebombing in World War II. It is clear to see that Kurt Vonnegut was against war, and this novel shows his opinions subtly. Human life means nothing to him anymore; it is just something that can be taken away without notice. Billy Pilgrim is a veteran of World War II. Billy was captured and became a prisoner of war, during the time of the Dresden Firebombing. The prisoners of war are forced to collect the bodies of the people killed. These events affect Billy in an un-reparable manner that will change his life forever. Post traumatic stress is defined as a psychological reaction occurring after experiencing a highly stressing event (1). This disorder is most commonly found in children who encounter distressing events in their childhood and soldiers returning from a long tour from any war. It can be treated through medicine or sometimes through therapy, or a combination of both. PTSD when it was first discovered and considered a mental illness, was considered an Achilles' heel, a mental state that only attacked the mentally weak. It was first known as ‘Shell shock’ (2). Some symptoms include suffering from hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and secluding themselves from society, their families, and their close friends. Billy Pilgrim showed signs of PTSD when he visited Tralfmadore, and when he met Montana Wildhack. If Billy had spoken to someone he trusted about this part of his life, then he could’ve possibly grasped reality enough to be treated and recover from the PTSD. He shows a sign of PTSD when he lacks an urgency to take advantage of time, because he believes that death is irrelevant. ... ... middle of paper ... ...ugly truth that war is. Every day the news across the world reports that soldiers are dying in the middle east in the attempt to solidify their society. Works Cited (1)- "post traumatic stress." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009.Merriam-Webster Online. 15 December 2009 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/post traumatic stress (2)- Fleming, Joel. "Doing Battle with the Demons; POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER". Active Living Magazine. 28 Feb 2003: p 30. eLibrary. Web. 15 Dec 2009. (3)- BOOKRAGS STAFF. "Slaughterhouse-Five: Topic Tracking: Anti-War". 2000. December 15 2009. . (4)- Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-Five, or, The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death. New York: Dial Press, 2005. (5)- "Post-traumatic stress disorder". Complete Home Medical Guide. 01 Nov 2004. eLibrary. Web. 15 Dec 2009.
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