Since the first time Billy claimed to have come unstuck in time while in the forest leaning against a tree, he has depended on an alternate reality in which he has created a new life for himself to avoid thoughts of the horrific events he witnessed while in Dresden. Although Billy claims that he was abducted by the Tralfamadorians, in reality, he was captured by the Germans. The reason that the Tralfamadorians exist is so that Billy can escape from the harsh reality of being a prisoner of war. Although separate in Billy’s conscience, the Nazis and the Tralfamadorians are interchangeable. Billy’s adventures on Tralfamadore all have significant and undeniable connections to his life:
A major difference that the novel and the movie had was that Billy didn’t win the coon hunt in the movie. In the movie, a man named Sam Bellington won the coon hunt, but out of pity, gave the cup to Billy. This event was one of the vital events in the book. It was the culmination of all of Billy’s hard work and his dogs’ dedication. Another distinction was that Billy only saved for one year to earn money for his pups in the movie. This plot element was one of the many important times when Billy demonstrated his tenacity. It showed how devoted Billy was to earn his pups and how willing he was to work two years to earn enough. The fact that Billy only worked for one year to earn the money greatly diminishes his industrious mindset, Evidently, there are many differences between the novel and the movie adapted from
SlaughterHouse-Five is a book about a man named Billy Pilgrim who is stuck in time, and constantly travels throughout different events in his life. Billy accepts different values and sees traumatic and morbid events differently than others. Billy accepts a way of life that is not perceivable to other humans. Many would argue that Billy’s experiences make him insane, but Billy’s experiences with the Tralfamadorians actually allows him to preserve his sanity, and stay a very intelligent man.
The reason, behind the readers of Slaughterhouse-five, believing that Billy had become “unstuck in time” was simply the way he moved back and fourth in time. But as the reader reads on, Billy’s illusions become stranger. For example he believes that he is taken the night of his daughters wedding to a different planet with the Tralfamadorians. It all begins for this part of time travelling when he could not
The Tralfamadorians, who explain this nature of time and existence to Billy, are shown as enlightened creatures while the humans back on earth are seen as backwards -- to such an extent that they believe in free will. Billy towards the end of his life becomes a preacher of these virtues of existence taught to him by his zookeepers on Tralfamadore, going around and speaking about his experiences and his acquired knowledge. This is ironic, because he is attempting to reverse the steady path of life, even time itself.
More of the time travels Billy has take him to his time on the planet Tralfamadore. Billy says that the aliens abducted him on his daughter's wedding night and returned him a few milliseconds later, but actually spend many months on Tralfamadore because the Tralfamadorians can also see in the fourth dimension, time, which allowed them to keep Billy for what seemed like longer than what he was actually there. While on Tralfamadore, Billy learns to accept his life as it is dealt to him because nothing that happens to you damages you forever. Since time is relative, and your life is like a mountain range, your death ,birth, and all the events in between are nothing more than peaks in a range of mountains, irremovable and able to be visited numerous times.
The first difference that caught my eye was how there was no cat, in the book there was a cat named, Sammie, and Sammie always got stuck in one of Billy’s traps. But in the movie
First the one way the book and the movie are similar is billy wants to get the dogs. He will do anything to get them. Billy has saved money for two years so he can get the dogs. When his grandpa order the dogs for billy he couldn't wait to get them. So he traveled to tahlequah in the middle of the night so he can go get them. Also another way they are similar is that billys family is very important to him. Billy also had extra money after he bought the dogs so he got some presents for his
Vonnegut calls upon his personal experiences to create his breakthrough work, Slaughterhouse Five. Vonnegut expresses his own feeling on war, family, and free will through the non-linear narrative of the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim. His experience as a soldier and death within his family are mirrored into Pilgrim’s character.
They could always visit him or her with the use of time travel when he or she was alive. Because the phrase was very often repeated, it somewhat served as a tally to show how frequently death occurs and just how inevitable it is. Billy knew the exact date of his death and how it would happen, but he could not alter it and was no longer afraid of dying, so it had no effect on him because “there is no why[,]” it just “simply is” (77; ch4). He learned this from the Tralfamadorians.
Once Billy becomes capable of time travel and comes into contact with the Tralfamadorians, he simply goes through the motions of life but avoids falling into a defeatist attitude. Under the tutelage of the Tralfamadorians, Billy fashions a brand new perspective towards society and enhances his natural persona, “When Billy accepts the Tralfamadorian philosophy, the passivity that he has displayed his entire life—from wanting to drift quietly at the bottom of the YMCA pool after his father throws him in, to begging Roland Weary to leave him behind—is justified. If the future cannot be changed anyway, why even try?” (Farrell 9). Though the interaction with the Tralfamadorians seems to allow Billy an outlet to construct his own ideals upon the universe, he nonetheless continues along the same path as before. Billy becomes an extremist towards passivity in life rather than utilizing the experience to impart a strong impression
Baruch Spinoza once said “Experience teaches us no less clearly than reason, that men believe themselves free, simply because they are conscious of their actions and unconscious of the causes whereby those actions are determined.” He compared free-will with destiny and ended up that what we live and what we think are all results of our destiny; and the concept of the free-will as humanity know is just the awareness of the situation. Similarly, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five explores this struggle between free-will and destiny, and illustrates the idea of time in order to demonstrate that there is no free-will in war; it is just destiny. Vonnegut conveys this through irony, symbolism and satire.
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.
One of the more obvious and clear signs that Billy has gone insane is his claim to be have been kidnapped by extraterrestrial beings known as Tralfamadorians. Billy claims to have been taken by these beings and taken to Tralfamadore, where he spends eternity with Montana Wildhack, a famous “hollywood” actress. Also, from the film version of the story Wildhack’s image makes multiple appearances and every time Billy glances at her image he stares in awe. Taking this into consideration, it is important to note the irony- that he just happened to be kidnapped with his celebrity-crush by the Tralfamadorians. To further prove that Billy made up the story about the aliens, viewers must evaluate how he never mentions how he was captured, or how he managed to escape from Tralfamadore. Instead, Billy magically returns to Earth and then rambles on about the culture and philosophy shown on Tralfamadore. The way of life for the Tralfamadorians was stated by one of the beings which it said, “I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the
The anti-war story of Slaughterhouse-Five centers on an awkward Billy Pilgrim, a man who travels through time and has had extraordinary experiences on the planet Tralfamadore with its inhabitants, the Tralfamadorians. Pilgrim, like Vonnegut, fought in World War II and was still relatively new to the war when he was taken as prisoner by German soldiers. He too was held in a slaughterhouse underground, which led to his survival of the 1945 Dresden Firebombing, and was also held behind to gather and burn the remains of the dead. Pilgrim claims that on his daughter’s wedding night, he was first abducted by the Tralfamadorians, the aliens that inhabited the planet Tralfamadore. These aliens have a fourth dimension; time. The Tralfamadorians view time as a literal timeline; everything is predetermined, and they can access any point of time at their will. Pilgrim returns to earth and believes that it is his duty to make humans aware of this philosophy, and to spread the Tralfamadorians’ message. By the end of the book, the reader comes to find that the time shifting and extraterrestrial experiences