Slaughterhouse-Five Essay

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Critical Essay of Slaughterhouse- Five Slaughterhouse-Five, a novel written by Kurt Vonnegut, had many themes and symbols that were prominent in Billy Pilgrim’s life. The novel is a biography of Billy Pilgrim and his time travels through his life at war, his time on Tralfamador, and his death. The symbols include: time traveling, “Fourth-Dimension,” Montana Wildhack’s locket, Billy’s diamond, and Edgar Derby. The themes include: being optimistic, Billy’s motto, free will, and the destruction of war. The phrase, “So it goes,” will also be analyzed. The novel is introduced in Chapter One with Vonnegut discussing how he would develop a book about his experiences during the Second World War. Chapter Two is the beginning of the novel Vonnegut has produced, with himself narrating the story. Billy Pilgrim and three other soldiers are behind enemy lines during the Second World War. Billy and Ronald Weary are captured by German soldiers, while the other two soldiers were shot trying to flee the scene. Just before Billy’s capture, he experiences his first time travel through his life. Billy is now able to time travel through his life, but he is unable to control when he time travels or where he goes. Being able to time travel allows Billy to mature and learn major lessons about life. This creates probably the strongest theme and symbol: being optimistic and “Fourth-Dimension.” While time traveling, one frequent settings of the book is Billy’s life on Tralfamadoria. Tralfamadoria is a planet home the aliens known as Tralfamadorians. The Tralfamadorians see in the Fourth-Dimension. This allows them to see a dead person, but they can also see that person alive at another point in time even though they are now deceased (Vees-Gulani 30). This form of seeing is also seen in bad situations. The aliens are able to think of a similar situation but with a better
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