Critical Essay of Slaughterhouse Five

1624 Words May 8th, 2001 7 Pages
Slaughterhouse Five
Kurt Vonnegut Critics of Kurt Vonnegut's are unable to agree on what the main theme of his novel Slaughterhouse Five may be. Although Vonnegut's novels are satirical, ironical, and extremely wise, they have almost no plot structure, so it is hard to find a constant theme. From the many people that the main character Billy Pilgrim meets, and the places that he takes us, readers are able to discern that Vonnegut is trying to send the message that there will always be death, there will always be war, and humans have no control over their own lives. Most of the book is the narrative from Billy Pilgrim a unique character who has the ability to become "unstuck in time", which means that he can uncontrollably drift from
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They told him that there will always be wars on Earth, that we, people, are "designed" that way. There might be people striving for eternal peace, but those people must be very naive and probably don't know humankind's nature. We know that wars are bad and we would like to stop them, but we can't because we are merely "stuck in amber". The Tralfamadorinas tell Billy is how Earth is unlike any other planet is its superficial limits of time and it's human beings' belief in free will. The Tralfamadorians say: "All time is time. It does not change. It does nt lend itself to warnings or explantions;. It simply is Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all...bugs in amber...If I hadn't spent so much time studying Earthling, I wouldn't have any idea what is meant by ‘free will.' I've studied many inhabited planets in the universe...Only on earth is their talk of free will.

With this statement, critic James Lembourg thinks that Vonnegut is trying to say that he doesn't believe in free will. Vonnegut describes time, life and the war as unexplainable. The Tralfamadorieans tell Billy that although earth is corrupt, humans can do nothing about it. There are no villains in Slaughterhouse Five, no one to take the blame. That means that the only villain can be "God Himself, or Herself, of Itself, or whatever". God Almighty had to be the one who put us into the amber, who had created us the way

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