Suffering In Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

1041 Words5 Pages

Jalen Fisher
Mrs. Burman
G Block
7 March 2017
Pain and Suffering What is suffering? Even though each individual experiences it at one point throughout life, it can be portrayed in many different lights. Suffering can appear in numerous ways including pain, distress, or hardship. Often times, people converse about the atrocities of war, but never dive beyond the surface level of what it is. Through this novel, Kurt Vonnegut explains the anguish in further detail and the struggles of experiencing suffering from war. Therefore, Billy Pilgrim’s frequent vulnerability to suffering throughout Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five reveals his suffering with childhood experiences, grief with the Tralfamadorians, misery with war, and thus distresses his capability …show more content…

For example the novel says, “Billy, after all, had contemplated torture and hideous wounds at the beginning and the end of nearly every day of his childhood. Billy had an extremely gruesome crucifix hanging on the wall of his little bedroom in Ilium. A military surgeon would have admired the clinical fidelity of the artist's rendition of all Christ's wounds—the spear wound, the thorn wounds, the holes that were made by the iron spikes. Billy's Christ died horribly. He was pitiful,” (Vonnegut 2:48). This quote exemplifies a child being visible to such a vivid crucifix at an early age abused his brain and made Billy contemplate more than he should have to grasp. This doing of terror caused an insecure kid to grow up in a sense of fear, always cautious of their decisions and afraid of what could occur in the real world. Furthermore, …show more content…

“Weary drew back his right boot, aimed a kick at the spine, at the tube which had so many of Billy's important wires in it. Weary was going to break that tube, But then Weary saw that he had an audience. Five German soldiers and a police dog on a leash were looking down into the bed of the creek. The soldiers' blue eyes were filled with a bleary civilian curiosity as to why one American would try to murder another one so far from home, and why the victim should laugh,” (Vonnegut 2:65). This quote displays the tragedy of war and how people suffer from the brutality of ill-advised men. The fact that the act of cold blooded murder was hysterical to people is beyond human comprehension. This quote truly emphasizes how people can be so corrupt with power and the anguish of war that they do horrendous deeds to one another. “His mother was incinerated by the Dresden fire-storm. So it goes,” (Vonnegut 1:2). This passage shows the effects of war and how it severely effects people’s lives. Gerhard Muller was the boy that lost his mom and he suffered plenty of nights because of what the “giants” did. This segment coincides with my topics because it shows the pain of having to stay in meat locker while innocent civilians were dying and being helpless. Through the examples of Ronald Weary and Gerhard Muller, the reader can comprehend that

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