Fate And Free Will In Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five

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At its core, Slaughterhouse Five is a commentary on the human battle between fate and free will and how that relates to war. When greeted with the inevitable subject of death throughout the story, Vonnegut responds only with “so it goes”, no matter how gruesome or wretched the circumstance. This recurring phrase acknowledges of the inherent arbitrariness and subsequently mundane nature of death. However, when viewed through the lens of Billy Pilgrim’s military experience, it also an alludes to the idea of war desensitizing its participants to the experience and concept of death. In this way, “so it goes” becomes an iconic representation of Pilgrim’s growing indifference to the horrors of war and human mortality.

The marriage of antiwar sentiment
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