Slaughterhouse Five Narrative Analysis

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Schlachthof-fA1/4nf is German for “Slaughterhouse-Five”, the name of the building that he lives and he works in at the concentration camp, and if a guard ever approaches him he is to recite those words. The war traumatizes Billy so much that after being in the plane crash he does not know where or when he is and thinks the German speaking ski instructor is a German guard. Billy continuously re-experiences events in forms of distressing images, thoughts, perceptions, and dreams – his trauma is an aspect of his life that is beyond his control. The trauma from war exists in the lives of soldiers even after combat and veterans, including Billy, often mask their trauma rather than trying to cope.Billy uses time travel to mask his pain, spontaneously jumping from one moment in his life to another. “Billy is spastic in time, has no control over where he is going next, and the trips aren’t necessarily fun. He is in a constant stage…show more content…
Nevertheless, there are many ways of coping with the trauma; however, some of them are not always beneficial, such as Billy’s methods of creating the memory thathe is abducted by Tralfamadorians. “Tralfamadore is a fantasy, a desperate attempt to rationalize chaos, but one must sympathize with Billy’s need to create Tralfamadore” (Merrill and Scholl 6). Billy needs to create Tralfamadore to mask the trauma, but as he invites other accommodations to his fantasy planet, such as Montana Wildhack, the masking of his trauma turns into coping of his pain. There is no past, present or future tense in Slaughterhouse-Five and therefore it is impossible to decipher the time in Billy’s life that he is speaking from. This reflects on the war trauma that haunts Billy until his death because it does not where you are in your life; trauma, pain and anguish will always
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