Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five Psychological Analysis

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In his book Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut depicts the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, as a connection between human and Tranfalmadorian ideals in society. By doing so, Vonnegut links present, past and future using flashbacks that give us a profound insight into Billy’s suffering of a malcontent post- traumatic disorder derived from his previous war tumult. These lapses between different periods of time in Billy Pilgrims life demonstrate Vonnegut’s anti-war perspective by negatively portraying war through Billy’s experiences. Billy Pilgrim serves as an allusion to Kurt Vonnegut throughout the story. The majority of Billy Pilgrims experiences throughout the story reflect on Vonnegut’s actual life experiences. At the age of twenty, Vonnegut …show more content…
Although during the time of the plot, medical treatments and diagnosis to Billy’s unstable mental condition were inexistent, modern medical views help readers understand the plot in ways not even considered during the 20th century. Gulani stated that, “The psychological consequences of the experience of war and especially the Dresden bombings can be readily analyzed using the criteria now established by psychiatrists to diagnose post- traumatic stress disorder” (Gulani). During World War II, the diagnosis of a post- traumatic disorder was not conceivable for Billy due to the paucity of modern treatments and medical knowledge accessible during those times. Modern Psychiatric approaches are better considered in diagnosis of Billy Pilgrim. His constant fears and anxieties regarding his previous war experiences are the result of a Post- traumatic disorder that Billy has aggravation coping with throughout the story. Harmless things, like the barbershop quartet that were singing at a wedding anniversary party, trigger anxiety attacks and discombobulations in Billy’s conscience, making the presence of danger prominent, despite being no more than illusions discerning him from reality. This disorder intermittently agonizes Billy thought the story, reminding him of an appalling past that he surpassed during his years as a Prisoner of War in

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