Literary Elements Used In Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five

441 Words2 Pages
Themes in various amounts of stories can range from love to death. While themes portray the central idea of the story; they figure out the theme of the story you can discover many secrets the author describes throughout the story. In Slaughterhouse Five, the main character as described as “stuck in time” which would make you wonder why. Certainly Vonnegut distributes a variety of literary elements to capture the central theme of the story using setting, conflict, and symbolism to show that time is the theme. First, the setting of this story takes place in the past, present, and the future. The central point of this story; however, is in a city of Germany called Dresden. On the night of February 13, 1945, Allied bombers dropped incendiary bombs on Dresden, creating a firestorm that destroyed the city (Source Cox, F. Brett). Billy, the main character, describes his experience before, during, and after these bombings took place. From the wondrous moments of scouring Dresden, to being captured alive by…show more content…
self which involves the main character, Billy Pilgrim, reliving moments in his life while trying to understand the slaughter during World War II. 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 state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next (Kurt Vonnegut). Billy as described is in a constant battle with himself because of the events that have occurred in his lifetime. From being captured by Germans to witnessing the destruction of Dresden. Furthermore, World War II has not only damaged him physically, but also mentally and has gone straight to his head. For the first time in the novel, Billy Pilgrim remembers a past event rather than time-travelling to it. Time-travel, it seems, would have made the event too immediate, too painful (Harris, Charles
Open Document