Slaughterhouse Five Free Will Analysis

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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 …show more content…
Almost every time a paragraph ends with this phrase, Vonnegut talks about death preceding it. He uses the aliens to describe how we have no control on how or when we die, which is lacking free will. Vonnegut says "While Billy was recuperating in a hospital in Vermont, his wife died accidentally of carbon-monoxide poisoning. So it goes" (25). Although his wife died, Tralfamadorians believe that she is still living at some other point in time, so technically she never "died". His wife obviously had no intention of dying at the moment, which lacks free will once

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