Autobiography In Slaughterhouse Five

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"He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next" (Vonnegut 23). Slaughterhouse-Five is written by Kurt Vonnegut who uses this story as an autobiography to explain what he experienced during the war. The reader follows a man named Billy Pilgrim go through his life in a sporadic jumps of memories. Billy served as a soldier in World War 2 and was present as a POW in the firebombing of Dresden. Following this event, Billy marries his wife Valencia and has two children and then becomes an Optometrist. On his daughter’s wedding night, he is also abducted by aliens who go by the name of Tralfamadorians and is then enlightened of their ways and views of life. Later …show more content…
This store is actually a cover-up for a porn store. In the store, Billy remembers reading the books by Kilgore Trout and decides to purchase some. At the checkout he also sees a magazine with Montana Wildhack on it. The question on the cover reads “What really became of Montana Wildhack?” (204). Billy thinks this funny considering he thinks she is back on Tralfamadore while the magazine thinks she has drowned. He actually believes of the aliens yet he had a wet dream about her when he realizes he has wet the bed “Billy sniffed. His hot bed smelled like a mushroom cellar. He had had a wet dream about Montana Wildhack” (134). Here, Billy even admits to dreaming about her. Dreams are not the same as meeting and being with Montana on Tralfamadore. This proves there are no aliens. More proof comes years later when Billy realizes Mr. Trout actually lives a few miles from him. In an alley, Kilgore was bullying children into selling newspapers. Billy realizes that Kilgore seems familiar to him and strikes up a conversation. He then invites Mr. Trout to his eighteenth wedding reception. At the event one woman asks Kilgore if an event actually happened in his book and he replies with, “Of course it happened. If I wrote something that had not really happened, and I tried to sell it, I could go to jail. That’s fraud. It’s like advertising. You have to tell the truth in advertising, or you get in …show more content…
At Billy’s and Valencia’s wedding anniversary, a barbershop quartet plays a song called “That Old Gang of Mine”. At this moment Billy finds himself very sad and does not understand why. This song was a trigger to him because he realized that “Here was proof that he had a great big secret somewhere inside, and he could not remember what it was” (173). Billy has not come to terms with the firebombing of Dresden. Kilgore knows it too for he says, “He suddenly saw the past or the future” (174). This PTSD trigger that took him back to Dresden. Another example of his PTSD is his weeping because in the book it states “He was under doctor’s orders to take a nap every day. The doctor hoped that this would relieve a complaint that Billy had: Every so often, for no apparent reason, Billy Pilgrim would find himself weeping. Nobody had ever caught Billy doing it. Only the doctor knew. It was an extremely quiet thing Bill did, and not very moist” (61). This is the effect of the war on Billy. He had seen some terrible things in Dresden. Weeping quietly shows that he is alone and suffering. These war memories have a way with making people feel

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