The Anti-Hero In Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

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In the novel Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, the reader follows Billy Pilgrim, a man who claims to be "unstuck in time,” through his WWII experiences until the end of his life. The main character, Billy, lacks conventional heroic qualities like most main characters in novels and is portrayed as weaker than others thus rendering him an anti-hero. Billy Pilgrim is an anti-hero because of his physical appearance, lack of courage and motivation, and his mental instability due to war trauma.
Billy Pilgrim can be classified as an anti-hero because of his physical appearance, as described by Vonnegut. The first thing the reader notices is how Vonnegut accentuates Billy’s youth by keeping his name as Billy rather than Bill or William. Through
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The author, Kurt Vonnegut, is an anti-war advocate and when writing his novel did not shy away from including the brutal details of war and the effect it leaves on soldiers, specifically Billy Pilgrim. While following Billy 's story, the reader can see that he suffers from some mental issues, most likely Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Signs that make Billy 's PTSD evident are his flashbacks and nightmares, avoidance of talking about his experiences, emotional numbness, sensitivity to noise, and fits of crying. The reader knows that Billy gets nightmares because when he falls asleep in the boxcar on the way to the POW camp, the other soldiers don 't want to sleep next to him because of his whimpering and kicking. Billy also shows emotional numbness through the 106 times Vonnegut write the phrase, “So it goes,” after any inconvenience, minor or major. When he hears a siren going off, he worries that World War III is upon them showing his sensitivity to noise. On page 62, Billy shows his fragility by breaking down, “But sleep would not come. Tears came instead. They seeped.” (Vonnegut). Conventional heros typically do not show signs of weaknesses or flaws in order to be a role model and savior to others however, Billy constantly does. All of these aspects of Billy build up to make him very unstable and unheroic thus contributing to his title as an
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