Billy Pilgrim Quotes Analysis

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Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, is a postmodern, anti war novel, involving the main character, Billy Pilgrim, and his transportation through the different moments of his life. The timeline of this particular book ranges all the way from when Billy was a small boy and all the way to his death. Because of the book taking place in many different times of Billy’s life and in many places of it, Kurt Vonnegut both hides and reveals truth in it. Many examples of this can be found throughout the events of Billy’s adventures, most notably before and during the fire bombings of Dresden.

The revealing of truth can be seen when Billy is separated from the rest of his squadron. At first, one might think of Billy as a war hero and that he fits the stereotypical war figure: large, strong, and courageous. But the actual truth is revealed when Billy pleads with the remainder of his squadron for him to be left behind. “He wished everyone would leave him alone. “You guys go on without me,” he said again and again.” (43). This quote backs up
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This quote is used to conceal truth because it conceals the truth behind death. Billy Pilgrim, after visiting the Tralfamadorians, no longer believes in death, but rather in an unending loop of life. After every death that Billy Pilgrim encounters, he states, “So it goes.” The truth behind death in war is hidden when Billy states this. Billy no longer believes in the idea of death so he instead hides it by saying that it wasn’t the ending of a life, but rather an unfortunate part of their life. Kurt Vonnegut hides this truth in the book because war tends to depict death as common and normal, and this is how BIlly perceives it; rather than death being a morbid and sorrowful occurrence in people's life. Billy hides from the idea of death rather than faces it for what it actually
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