The Main Themes In Slaughterhouse-Five, By Kurt Vonnegut

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The novel Slaughterhouse-Five, or the Children 's Crusade written by Kurt Vonnegut is well loved by many people. The novel is about Kurt Vonnegut’s past and future in the perspective of the main character Billy Pilgrim. Through Billy Pilgrim’s experience with the Tralfamadorians and the frequent time travel between past and future. Kurt Vonnegut explores the issues of the inevitability of war, fatalism, and of free will; also the form of his writing, why it took so long to write, his experience with Dresden and the Tralfamadorians, and the importance of his phrases were also very important and contribute a lot to the whole idea of this novel. A quick summary of the novel starts with the main character Billy Pilgrim who was born in 1922 in Ilium, …show more content…
Billy see’s service with the infantry in Europe, and is taken prisoner by the Germans not soon after. After honorable discharge from the army in 1945, Billy again enrolls in The Ilium School of Optometry. During his senior year there, he became engaged to the daughter of the founder and owner of the school. After he marries his fiancée he finishes his education and is set up in business in Ilium by his father-in-law. Ilium is a good city to be an optometrist because there were a couple companies there that require all their employees to have safety glasses so he becomes very rich when prescribing lenses to the employees. Later on in his life he is in an airplane crash and suffers severe head injury, when his wife found out she drove to go see him in the hospital and died of carbon monoxide poisoning moments after arriving. After these tragedies Billy claims he was kidnapped by a flying saucer in 1967 and taken to a planet called Tralfamadore. Throughout the book Billy Pilgrim time travels back and forth between his past and …show more content…
“The form of Vonnegut’s writing style used in this novel is jumbled because it reflects the main character Billy Pilgrim’s condition throughout the novel. Those conditions were, Billy’s confusion, dislocation, and shock” (Cox). Kurt Vonnegut wrote this book to inform everyone about his perspective regarding war. The reason it took so long was probably due to the intense emotional scarring and internal anguish that he suffered from his first-hand experience with unnecessary loss. Another reason why it probably took Vonnegut twenty-three years to write this book was because information regarding the bombing of Dresden was top secret and classified, so no one really knew what happened for a while. During the bombing of Dresden roughly one hundred and thirty-five thousand people were killed except for the “four guards and one hundred American prisoners” (Vonnegut) taking shelter in the meat locker below the slaughterhouse. All the innocent girls that Billy see’s naked were all being killed along with all the other guards that went home to be with their family.

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