Hardships In Billy Pilgrim's Slaughterhouse Five

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Throughout the novel, Slaughterhouse Five, Billy Pilgrim struggles with the hardships that take places all throughout his life. These hardships occur in his family life during World War II and being abducted by aliens from another planet. The misfortunes vary in difficulty, some minor, while some are life and death situations. There are many obstacles that Billy and other men encountered and were faced with, which were separated by every point of life: the past, the present and the future,with the future teaching Billy how to cope with these obstacles.
Billy Pilgrim’s past consisted of serving the United States in the Second World War. While fighting against the Germans, Billy and several others were captured as prisoners of war. When arriving at the camp, Billy and the other men encountered English soldiers who have been captive for years. The men were isolated from society and have not been able to live their lives: “It has been five years now since I have seen a tree or flower or woman or child-or a dog or a cat or a place of entertainment, or a human being doing useful work …show more content…

One of the lessons that he had been taught is that the future was unpredictable as well as unpreventable. What Billy understood this to be was: "there would always be wars, that they were as easy to stop as glaciers. I believe that also. And, even if wars didn't keep coming like glaciers, there would still be plain old death.” (Vonnegut, 6). This was important for Billy to understand because without thinking that these types of disasters were unpreventable then people would always think that the world is a horrible place. All of Billy’s life struggles were not preventable or predictable. Using the lessons that he had learned, which was that all that happened including death is inevitable. This idea is expressed through his repeated phrase of “so it goes” (Vonnegut, 5 et

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