Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut

915 Words4 Pages
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut takes places on two contrasting planets. One is Earth, where war tears apart families and minds, and the other is Tralfamadore, where supernatural alien beings share their extended knowledge of the world. Vonnegut uses the two planets, Earth and Tralfamadore, to show the contrasting ideas of chaos and order, and that human actions have limitations that render them helpless against a meaningless universe. In Slaughterhouse Five, Earth is a grim, war torn place. The main character, Billy Pilgrim, is haunted by the war throughout the novel. Billy experiences some parts of his past during the war, because of this, events happen simultaneously, outside of the constraints of time. After the war, Billy has a “mild nervous collapse”. His nervous breakdown shows the chaos Earth represents for him. In one scene, Billy is in the middle of a conversation, and a split second later he has finished that conversation and is watching Cinderella (98). The moments in between are wiped from his memory. This scene intensifies the chaos both Billy and the reader associate with Earth. The author enhances the chaotic nature of Earth by changing location on Earth with no warning. At one moment, Billy is honeymooning in Cape Ann, then he’s on a train in 1944, and seconds later he’s back in the war (126-127). Vonnegut does this to clearly show the chaos that is Earth. After Billy returns from Tralfamadore, he sees that the things he learned there were true. Earth

More about Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut

Get Access