Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut

1199 WordsJan 8, 20165 Pages
War is an omnipresent evil. At times it might be necessary, as in stopping a tyrant from oppressing a society, but at other times, it causes more harm than good. War has demolished entire communities, reshaped lives, and damaged individuals’ mental stability. Not until recent centuries has the impact of war on a person’s psychological state been considered. One book, which was published in the middle of the twentieth century, Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, is able to show the various possible results war can have on a person’s mind. In the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut is effectively able to portray the psychological effects of war through Billy Pilgrim and his fantasies, his indifference, and his alienation because of Vonnegut’s own personal experiences in war. Billy Pilgrim creates different fantasies after his experiences in Dresden. These fantasies are a direct result of Billy’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other problems he developed. Susanne Vees-Gulani states in “Diagnosing Billy Pilgrim” that “his problems are directly related to his war experiences” (293). PTSD is usually the result of people facing an event that involved serious threat to life or the well-being of themselves or others. A common symptom of PTSD is constantly reliving past traumatic events: which is seen through Billy’s cyclic timeline or his “time travel” (Vees-Gulani 294). According to Vees-Gulani, Billy never “psychologically left World War II;” therefore, with

More about Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut

Open Document