Slaughterhouse Five, By Billy Pilgrim Essay

948 Words Oct 4th, 2016 4 Pages
Free will is defined as the ability to act at one 's own discretion according to the Oxford Dictionary. In Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim experiences many events throughout his life with outside factors that go against his free will. There are different ways to view this topic. Many argue if we can actually control our actions, while others argue that it 's impossible for anything to happen without being caused by something else. In other words, everything is structured and no matter what you do, there is no way to change the outcome of any event. In Slaughterhouse Five the aliens, called Tralfamadorians, teach Billy that there is no such thing as free will. The Tralfamadorians also teach Billy that he cannot change the events in his life because it was preordained before he was even born. Along with their beliefs, I do not think that our choices impact our fate. Tralfamadorians live in a four-dimensional world where they are able to see past, present, and future as a whole. Even though the aliens know what happens in the future, they also know that no matter what they do, nothing will change the outcome. Vonnegut uses this idea by saying "Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, present, and future" (60). Billy, along with everyone else, has his own fate no matter what he does to try to change it. After reading this story, we find out that Billy is a fictional character, so he literally has no free will. Although he is fictional, this may be true…

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