The Theme of Time in Slaughterhouse Five Essay

1007 Words May 2nd, 2009 5 Pages
In many novels, the idea of time is handled in different ways to keep the story at a smooth pace. Kurt Vonnegut, the author of Slaughterhouse-Five, uses time as a way to give the reader an idea of what his main character’s life was like and what he had gone through throughout his life. Vonnegut’s manipulation of time may make the story confusing to some at times, but he effectively explains his character’s background through this different use of time. Throughout the plot of Slaughterhouse-Five, the idea of time is thrown around in several ways. In the beginning of the story, Vonnegut introduces his readers to Billy Pilgrim, the main character of the story who has the ability to travel to different moments of his life without knowing …show more content…
Likewise, he also knows that he cannot change the future because he does not know what could happen to him since it has not happened yet. This is the point that Vonnegut was trying to get across in Slaughterhouse-Five that people in the world just need to live in the moment and not get so wrapped up in the past or worry so much about the future. There was another part of the story that Vonnegut writes that shows how time is an important part of the novel. In the beginning, when the reader is first introduced to Billy Pilgrim in the second chapter, the first line of the chapter is, “Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.” This statement starts off the story right off the bat with the idea that time is something that cannot be changed or tampered with. The statement seems to hold up as true throughout the entire story, since the reader sees that Billy can in fact travel back in time, but he cannot change anything that he had done and can only watch everything that had happened. The idea of not being able to change time is something that Billy has to face during all of his time-travels and looking back at all of the memories that he went back to revisit. Slaughterhouse-Five is a novel filled with insights about a person’s time during their life and how it should be spent. Kurt Vonnegut gives the reader many different examples of how time is a precious thing that cannot be changed through his own manipulation of the

Related Documents