War, Vonnegut contends, has its own "logic" that can make such atrocities seem justifiable.
Plot[ edit ] The story is told in a nonlinear order, and events become clear through flashbacks or time travel experiences from the unreliable narrator. He describes the stories of Billy Pilgrim, who believes he was held in an alien zoo and has experienced time travel.
Billy Pilgrim, a chaplain's assistant in the United States Army during World War II, is an ill-trained, disoriented, and fatalistic American soldier who refuses to fight "Billy wouldn't do anything to save himself".
Billy approaches death due to a string of events. Before the Germans capture Billy, he meets Roland Weary, a patriot, warmonger, and bully just out of childhood like Billywho derides the soldier's cowardice. When Weary is captured, the Germans confiscate everything he has, including his boots, giving him hinged, wooden clogs to wear; Weary eventually dies in Luxembourg of gangrene caused by wounds from the stiff clogs.
While dying in a railcar full of prisoners, Weary convinces fellow soldier, Paul Lazzaro, that Billy is to blame for his death. Lazzaro vows to avenge Weary's death by killing Billy, because revenge is "the sweetest thing in life.
Billy and the other prisoners are transported by the Germans to Luxembourg. Bythe Germans transport the prisoners to Dresden to work in "contract labor" forced labor. This results in their being among the few survivors of the firestorm that raged in the city between 13 and 15 February Soon, Billy is hospitalized with symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder and placed under psychiatric care.
A man named Eliot Rosewater introduces Billy to the novels of an obscure science fiction author named Kilgore Trout. After his release, Billy marries Valencia Merble. Valencia's father owns the Ilium School of Optometry that Billy later attends. InBilly and Valencia's first child, Robert, is born.
Two years later their daughter Barbara is born.
On Barbara's wedding night, Billy is captured by an alien space ship and taken to a planet light-years away from Earth called Tralfamadore.
The Tralfamadorians are described as seeing in four dimensions, simultaneously observing all points in the space-time continuum.
They universally adopt a fatalistic worldview: Death means nothing but "so it goes". On Tralfamadore, Billy is put in a transparent geodesic dome exhibit in a zoo; the dome represents a house on Earth. The Tralfamadorians later abduct a movie star named Montana Wildhack, who had disappeared and was believed to have drowned herself in the Pacific Ocean.
They intend to have her mate with Billy. She and Billy fall in love and have a child together. Billy is instantaneously sent back to Earth in a time warp to relive past or future moments of his life. InBilly and a copilot are the only survivors of a plane crash.
Valencia dies of carbon monoxide poisoning while driving to visit Billy in the hospital. Billy shares a hospital room with Bertram Rumfoord, a Harvard history professor. They discuss the bombing of Dresden, which the professor claims was justified, despite the great loss of civilian lives and destruction of the city.
Billy's daughter takes him home to Ilium. He escapes and flees to New York City. In Times Square he visits a pornographic book store. Billy discovers books written by Kilgore Trout and reads them. Later in the evening, when he discusses his time-travels to Tralfamadore on a radio talk show, he is evicted from the studio.
He returns to his hotel room, falls asleep, and time-travels back to in Dresden, where the book ends.
Due to the non-chronological story telling, other parts of Billy's life are told throughout the book. After being evicted from the radio studio, Barbara treats Billy as a child and often monitors him.
Robert becomes starkly anti-Communist and a Green Beret. Billy eventually dies in after giving a speech in a baseball stadium in which he predicts his own death and claims that "if you think death is a terrible thing, then you have not understood a word I've said.
Narrator Intrusive and recurring as a minor character, the narrator seems anonymous while also clearly identifying himself when he, the narrator, says: That was the author of this book.
During World War II, he was held as a prisoner of war in Dresden, surviving the firebombing, experiences which had a lasting effect on his post-war life. His time travel occurs at desperate times in his life; he re-lives events past and future and becomes fatalistic though not a defeatist because he has seen when, how and why he will die.
Roland Weary A weak man dreaming of grandeur and obsessed with gore and vengeance, who saves Billy several times despite Billy's protests in hopes of military glory.Kurt Vonnegut and Satire Kurt Vonnegut The Dresden bombing, an alien zoo with humans on display, and an eccentric protagonist are just a few details that make Slaughterhouse Five a memorable novel.
Satire and Fantasy in Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle For this essay, I decided to pick two terms that describe Cat's Cradle. I felt that satire and fantasy were two terms that suited the novel quite well.
Home › American Literature › Analysis of Kurt Vonnegut’s Novels. Analysis of Kurt Vonnegut’s Novels By Nasrullah Mambrol on July 3, • (0). In his novels, Kurt Vonnegut ( – ) coaxes the reader toward greater sympathy for humanity and deeper understanding of the human condition.
Kurt Vonnegut also uses irony to get his point across. For example, on page , Billy is in the bookstore when he sees a novel by Kilgore Trout, The Big Board.
It is about a man and woman who get kidnapped and put on display in an alien zoo. In the zoo, there is a large board that shows the news and a ticker that shows stock quotes. Vonnegut demonstrates his own antiwar sentiments throughout Slaughterhouse - Five with the use of irony, satire, science fiction and dark humor.
Billy Pilgrim, the main character, is 4/4(1). This lesson will help students identify elements of satire in Kurt Vonnegut's novel ''Slaughterhouse Five'', and the author's purpose for using this literary technique.