Overview Of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five

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In Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, the character Billy Pilgrim claims to be “unstuck” in time. Having survived through being a prisoner of war and the destruction of Dresden during World War II, has been a prisoner of the war, it was very obvious that Pilgrim’s mental state was extremely unstable. It may be that Pilgrim, having effects of being a prisoner of war, and having been witness to destruction of Dresden, suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) , which caused him to go over events over and having flash backs. In order to comprehend how much war can affect a veteran negatively , Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five talks about how the massacre event during the war , the destruction of Dresden, PTSD along with coping …show more content…

As Billy Pilgrim is walking out onto the city streets after the destruction of Dresden. In the book Slaughterhouse Five though, the description of the destruction of dresden was when billy pilgrim was watching a movie about the bombing but in rewind, “The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers , and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes” (Vonnegut, 74). With the little image that we get from Kurt Vonnegut’s book we can already see how dangerous and how much destruction that we see with the battle that was in dresden, but I can not imagine how much blood that was poured into the streets from this fire and bomb shells everywhere. What he saw there, was not so described in the text by Kurt Vonnegut, but because of interest I did a little research on what exactly did it look like and what actually happened. What the destruction that was in Dresden that I read about was “More than 3,400 tons of explosives were dropped on the city by 800 American and British aircraft. The firestorm created by the two days of bombing set the city burning for many more days, littering the streets with charred corpses, including many children. Eight square …show more content…

All of these are just some things that Billy’s suffers symptoms of PTSD. One of the symptoms that Billy Pilgrim that he does show are the Re-experiencing symptoms which according to NIMH include “Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating, Bad dreams, and Frightening thoughts” (National Institute of Mental Health, Symptoms) One of the examples is where Billy is when he is trapped in a cart and he then flashes back to "And then Billy was a middle-aged optometrist again, playing hacker's golf this time - on a blazing summer Sunday morning." (Vonnegut,85) Throughout the book, Billy Pilgrim has flashbacked to many different parts of his life flashing back to the war, his childhood, his adulthood, and his trips to Tralfamadore stories. These flashbacks are constantly coming and going from one to the other even though it was slightly confusing, but got a lot easier to understand. Thus proving that since

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