Pilgrim's Loss Of Power

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“I did not ask for the things that I’ve been through and I certainly did not ask my mind to paint and repaint the pictures in flashback forms.” Quoted from Michelle Groth, about post traumatic stress disorder. For some it is impossible to run away from their past but for one human, Billy Pilgrim, a World War 2 and Dresden bombing survivor, it is possible. He chooses not to face his experiences and goes into a very strange place. A place where memories do not exist and the normal day-to -day life does not occur. He becomes unstuck in time. Billy faces the consequence and lives in a different reality than everyone else. Vonnegut uses Billy’s experience to show how being unstuck in time made Pilgrim become helpless, powerless, and lack free will.…show more content…
Billy gave his power and life to tralfamadorians who control which moments from his life he goes to next. “When I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "So it goes". (Page 27) He learns from the tralfamadorians and not his experiences, he completely lost his contact with the world and people dying around him. The war swallowed Billy whole and consumed his ability to control his life. As a child, he also lost power over his own life when he was unconscious after being pushed in a pool. “ Little Billy was terrified, because his father had said Billy was going to learn to swim by the method of sink-or-swim.” (Vonnegut, 43) Billy is scarred by this and this made him give up on living, helpless to live and he contains a lack of motivation as he states “ it was like an execution.” (Vonnegut, 44) Billy even states he does not want to live, but simply does . "She made him feel embarrassed and ungrateful and weak because she had gone to so much trouble to give him life, and to keep that life going, and Billy didn 't really like living at all." (Vonnegut, 102) Billy loses power over his life after being vacuumed by war, he ends up living only by small threads controlled by Tralfamadorians, like a marionette. But most of all, Billy believes he was ripped apart from his free…show more content…
"Billy is spastic in time, has no control over where he is going next..." pg 23. By being unstuck in time, and flying from random moments of his life to others, he does not have any freedom with his life, he is scared of going from place to place. “ He is in constant stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next.” (Vonnegut, 23) Even what Mary says, “You were just babies in the war-- Like the ones upstairs!” (Vonnegut, 14) Where they were sent to battle without a choice and were simply put there. This led him to give up his life and understand that he does not have a choice. On Tralfamadore, Billy is also forced to be somewhere, in a zoo, where he is forced to live in a dome. “Billy was displayed there in a zoo in a simulated Earthling habitat.” ( 112) He is placed in a place where human like lifestyle is already made for him and he is forced to live. The experience of loss of free will has experienced in the war and as a child, shows how Billy turned out so helpless and unmotivated. Conclusion: Pilgrim is stuck in the same cycle, where he believes he does not have free will because he is helpless and unmotivated which leads him to have no more power over his life. He runs away to a peaceful place with unusual perspectives on life. “I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time
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