The Concept Of Fate In Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five

1749 Words 7 Pages
In the twentieth century, a riveting new genre of children's books emerged. These books, often referred to as “choose your own adventure” novels, provided the reader an array of decisions to make. While it was not always clear which path was the best to take, it was the audience’s personal duty to craft their own conclusion. Comparably, the theme of fate versus free will is addressed frequently in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse Five. As the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, proceeds through life, he is burdened with a peculiar destiny, and his response to the given situations is a direct comment on the concept of predetermination. Essentially, Vonnegut utilizes Billy Pilgrim to explore the idea that it is foolish to assume one’s fate is …show more content…
After all, the book advises the audience to “Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones” (Vonnegut 225). Advice such as this may convince readers that Vonnegut actually wants everyone to accept God’s will and let come what may. Basing an argument about Vonnegut’s beliefs on insignificant lines such as this one, however, reveals poor literary analysis skills. When reviewing how Billy’s adherence to predetermination affects the most crucial plot points, it always proves to have a detrimental impact. There are ultimately enough examples of him undermining the idea of predetermination throughout the novel that it is clear he doesn't agree with the …show more content…
He argues that people cannot blame their misfortunes on others because everybody has the ability to control the outcome of their own existence. Similarly, In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse Five, Billy Pilgrim is used to exhibit the harm of thinking one’s fate cannot be altered. The adversity he experiences is a direct result of him lacking the motivation to modify his own destiny. Vonnegut emphasizes Billy’s misfortune to express that people must shape their own lives and make deliberate decisions that will better themselves. It is idiotic to live a passionless life in which one does not care about what happens to them. To truly succeed in this world, one must never be afraid to choose their own

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