Theme Of Material Wealth In Slaughterhouse Five

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Tom Ford once said, “We live in a material world. I 'm not saying that beautiful things don 't enhance our lives. But, in our culture, we 're never happy” (Brainy Quote). Simply put, Ford claims that the outside world is a tempting solution to problems that ultimately end up never satisfying, as the human race is never eternally happy. The idea of material wealth in society is present from Billy Pilgrim’s lifestyle in Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. In the novel, the protagonist Billy Pilgrim suffers from serious post war trauma and perceives himself as becoming “unstuck in time” as a result from his experiences in World War II. This forces him to take mental journeys through several moments in his life, and to the planet Tralfamadore, …show more content…
For example, he abuses the power of Magic Fingers in order to escape his suffering. Vonnegut states, “Also on the table were controls for the electric blanket, and a switch to turn on a gentle vibrator which was bolted to the springs of the box mattress. Billy turned on the Magic Fingers, and he was jiggled as he wept” (Vonnegut 62). Pilgrim hopes that this electric blanket will help him fall asleep as he suffers from insomnia as well. He depends on the Magic Fingers proving that he looks towards the outside world as a necessity to cope with his many mental illnesses. In relation to scientific and technological advances, later on in the novel Billy Pilgrim takes journeys to an alien planet, Tralfamadore in order to escape reality. Vonnegut writes, “The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die” (Vonnegut 26). This planet serves as the ultimate scientific theory to which Billy travels to individually in order to eliminate his agonizing pain. Also in A Journey to Find a Therapy in the External World, author Yan Sui writes, “Tralfamadore is a technological utopia which is once supposed to be feasible and which, in a way, serves as a cushion against Billy’s tremendous pain” (Sui 35). This supports the fact the Tralfamadore serves as an intellectual getaway for Billy as he seeks to find answers to all his

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