And Morality In Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five

1037 Words 5 Pages
Kurt Vonnegut’s historical-fiction novel, Slaughterhouse Five, analyzes the life of Billy Pilgrim, a World War II veteran who survived the horrific firebombing of Dresden, Germany in the year 1945. Billy Pilgrim narrates the timeline of his life, with events being told out of order and with, what seem to be, bizarre twists added to it. Slaughterhouse Five is a novel that can be interpreted in different ways, which is why it created enough controversy to be banned in schools all over the United States. Kurt Vonnegut has a way with his words, and is highly revered for his ability to show the tranquility and turmoil of the events in Billy Pilgrim’s life, at the same time, which is portrayed in the passage. Starting off the passage with “Listen:”, …show more content…
According to a source has is “present perfect progressive tense” and “describes an action that began in the past, continues in the present, and may continue into the future”. This is no mistake. Vonnegut intended this to further prove the later lines of the passage, “[Billy] has seen birth and death many times, he says and pays random visits to all the events in between” (23). At first glance, one would think it said that Billy Pilgrim has come stuck in time, but since it says unstuck, Vonnegut intended it to be interpreted as something good. This line also makes the reader want to continue on reading because of the unusual phrase of him being “unstuck in time”. Vonnegut, right off the bat, makes Billy Pilgrim seem extraordinary, as he has an ability that nobody else does. Not everyone can be unstuck in time, but Billy Pilgrim seems to have broken the …show more content…
Kurt Vonnegut says, “All this happened more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true” (1). After getting his readers excited for what was to come in the story, he placed such a simple line such as “he says”, into the narrative and it’s like a knife to the gut. As a reader, what Billy Pilgrim is going through is appealing and, so far, in the novel there has been nothing dissuading us away from believing Billy Pilgrim’s story. Now that Kurt Vonnegut has, for the second time, displayed doubt in Billy Pilgrim’s story, the readers do the same.
At this point, after reading this passage, the reader has mixed feelings. Kurt Vonnegut did a great job of grabbing the reader’s attention and keeping it throughout the passage, but as soon as the “he says” was thrown in, feelings of doubt cloud the interest. Vonnegut still has the reader’s attention, though, and as a result he continues his plea for

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