A Book Report on Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

1223 WordsJul 17, 20185 Pages
1. Major Characters of the Novel a. Billy Pilgrim is the person that the book is written around. We follow him, perhaps not in a straight order, from his youth joining the military to his abduction on the alien planet of Tralmalfadore, to his older age at his 1960s home in Illum. It is his experiences and journeys that we follow, and his actions we read about. However, Billy had a specific lack of character for a main one. He is not heroic, he has very little personality traits, let alone an immersive and complex character. Most of the story is written around his experiences that seem more like symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from his World War Two days, combined with hallucinations after a brain injury in a near-fatal plane…show more content…
2. The central conflict of this book is Billy coming to terms with the unfortunate events happening around him, and facing this character versus world scenario of everything and everyone always being against him in some way or another. Billy sees so much suffering and so much death. He is blamed for the death of Ronald Weary, which is not his fault. He witnesses the Dresden Firebombing, and has an overall uneventful blain life to begin with. Billy needs to find a way to cope with this unbearable pressure, and whether or not the Tralmalfadorians are real, their message is real to Billy. The philosophy they present is the excuse Billy needs to justify all the wrong he sees around him. The Tralmalfadorian belief being that there is no free will, and that you timeline is fact, and that you simply experience death, but continue “existing” afterwards. Essentially, you always exist and what happens to you is predetermined fate. This allows Billy to pass on all of the death and misery around him as meant to be. He can rest assured knowing that there is nothing he could about anything in the past, present, or future. There was nothing he could have done or can do to stop the death and torture, weather it is the death of his wife, the firebombing in Dresden, or even his own death. This motivation-less philosophy is his resolution to his devastating conflict, and is directly responsible for his lack of action throughout the story. 3.
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