Kurt Vonnegut 's Slaughterhouse Five Essay

1438 Words Sep 21st, 2015 6 Pages
Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five is a cheerless tale of young Billy Pilgrim’s crusade through World War Two. Billy Pilgrim was an ordinary youth who went on to optometry school and was drafted into the United States Army. However, his life is turned upside down when he is captured by German soldiers during the war and he experiences his first journey through time. Years later, Billy claims to be abducted by the alien creatures from the distant planet of Tralfamadore. They reveal to him their ability to see in the fourth dimension – time – and they reveal how he can do the same. Henceforth, Billy is totally changed. Like the Tralfamadorians, he can now move both forwards and backwards through the events of his life.
Billy continues to journey throughout time, experiencing events in his life repeatedly. As he travels, Billy tries to make sense of his purpose in life and the reason for his existence. After revisiting all of the horrible ordeals he has endured, especially during World War Two, Billy adopts the Tralfamadorian belief of the futility of life. Billy lives out his remaining days trying to promote this belief to anyone he can. He eventually realizes that he cannot change the past, present, or future and that his life is just another meaningless page in the story of mankind.

In Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut asserts that the fate of humanity is predetermined, thus free will is merely an illusion. The fact that humans have no control over their…

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