Slaughterhouse Five Omniscient Narrator

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Rushdie gives Sinai an authorial voice. While this contrasts with Vonnegut’s adoption of a third-person omniscient (and rather unreliable) narrator, both speakers can be said to share similar narrative voices, and adopt similar techniques. Both Sinai and the omniscient narrator of ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ are extremely intrusive in terms of their styles of narration; interrupting their stories in order to throw in their own real-time opinions, thoughts or observations, such as the narrator of Slaughterhouse-Five’s declaration of “That was I. That was me” when Billy Pilgrim arrives in Dresden, having been seated in front of the speaker in their boxcar. Sinai however often interrupts his very detailed and dense style of narration using parentheses…show more content…
For Billy Pilgrim, his trips through time are a source of never-ending anxiety, described as causing him to live “in a constant state of fright…because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next.” There are examples of Sinai experiencing similar feelings of fear and unease when he connects the dots Time has laid out for him, such as his remarks in the chapter ‘The perforated sheet’ (“…and there will be another bald foreigner…and pie-dogs aren’t far away…Enough. I’m frightening myself.”). Diverting from the mystical basis of Saleem’s experiences, Billy has become “unstuck” in time due to his supposed abduction at the hands of an alien species called “the Tralfamadorians”, who hold peculiar ideas on Time of their own. During his stay on Tralfamadore, Billy begins to get a sense of their abstract attitude towards life and death. They state that “They couldn’t imagine what time looked like to him”, a bizarre statement for both protagonist and reader to comprehend, as humans don’t visually perceive Time, only its effects. Finding Billy’s ideas on life stupid, the Tralfamadorians claim they know how the universe is going to end – claiming they “blow it up, experimenting with new fuels…A
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