Slaughterhouse-Five Themes

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SlaughterHouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. has a strong, recurring theme of how disastrous war is and the effects it has on a person. In this novel's case, Billy Pilgrim and even the narrator are showing obvious signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although this topic is quite serious in some situations, Billy Pilgrim doesn't seem to know he has this disorder and his thoughts and actions are comical at times. The idea of traveling to a distant planet named Tralfamadore is very unlikely and its most reasonable to say Billy made it up. Towards the ending of the novel, Billy releases the information about his trip to the “book store” and his knowledge of the books by Kilgore Trout. The reader now notices that the plot of the Kilgore Trout books …show more content…

As detailed in the novel, they believe in a timeline that has already happened and always will happen. Whether this is a made up idea or Billy somehow actually did meet the Tralfamadorians and learn this, it is very compelling. Vonnegut has made everything tie together in the end showing that Billy has an “unstuck in time” point of view and the reader is able to view a traditional plot/timeline. It is difficult to see exactly when something happened unless the reader pays close attention to the dates listed in the book. However, I suppose the reader doesn't have to know when something is happening to still enjoy it. When Billy is in the zoo the Tralfamadore leader tells him that their books “have no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.” (Vonnegut 88) Just like Billy and his experiences… no beginning, middle or end. Likewise, Billy’s ability to choose what moment he wants to travel to is inadequate and the book doesn't offer a feeling of relaxation or beauty. Instead, I felt poorly about Billy's position and realized the bitter reality of war, once again going back to the overall meaning of the

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