Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse Five Analysis

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Life is something only the dead have lived fully. People try to find what is important in life, but it is impossible to know. Importance is an aspect that is always different and changing for each individual. There is nothing intelligent to say about life; everybody is supposed to be learning, to never know everything. Yet still, arguments begin about what is right, and those arguments lead to fights, which then lead to wars. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is a somewhat autobiographical, science-fiction novel about the life of a man who learns all that has happened and will happen is already determined, and then only lives his life instead of experiencing it. Vonnegut’s experiences and views before his death caused him to write Slaughterhouse-Five …show more content…
According to an National Public Radio news story, Vonnegut worries that society is becoming more and more inhuman (Inskeep, 2006). “There is a serious theme that runs through. And that theme, that concept of our inhumanity and our self-destruction and our irrationality, if anything it 's becoming stronger” (Siegel, 2011). This fear of Vonnegut’s gave him a hatred of society and its tendency to give life, and especially war an inconsequential sentiment. Vonnegut integrated this fear and hatred of society becoming more inhumane, pitiless, and self-destructive into Slaughterhouse-Five through interactions between Billy Pilgrim and Roland Weary, “The soldiers’ blue eyes were filled with a bleary civilian curiosity as to why one American would try to murder another on so far from home…” (Vonnegut, 1969, p.51). This quote from the novel exemplifies Vonnegut 's villainous society, in which the evolving nature that is causing man-kind to become more and more self-destructive caused Billy and Weary to try and kill each other. This irrational action taken by Billy and Weary is made more prominent by the fact that Billy and Weary are alone in enemy territory in war with only each other for protection and company, and yet they are trying to kill each other. In order to further expose society for it’s inhumane and pitiless tendencies, Vonnegut incorporated his memories of the firebombing in Dresden into …show more content…
The Tralfamadorians are a species of 4th-dimensional aliens that abduct Billy and teach him their ideology of life and death. They see time as a constant, just like humans see height, width, and length; “Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance” (Vonnegut, 1969, p. 27). These 2 feet high, green, plunger-like beings do not question what could happen in the future, as they know that all that will happen is already determined. Billy, having seen his birth and death several times by becoming “unstuck in time,” takes this ideology with him by only living through his life and not experiencing it. Vonnegut’s views on life were similar, even though he was very depressed. “In 1984, he attempted suicide with pills and alcohol, joking later about how he botched the job” (Salazar, 2007). To express this lack of excitement, wonder, or grief about the future Vonnegut had, he made it so the Tralfamadorians use the phrase ‘So it goes’ whenever someone dies, as they know that they only appear dead, but still exist. Vonnegut most likely included this idea because his mother committed suicide by drug overdose in 1944, but like most people who have lost a loved one, she didn 't stop existing in his mind (Allen, 2010). Billy and Tralfamadorians very

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