Slaughterhouse Five Essay

1088 Words 5 Pages
Thesis: Because he was unable to find comfort from human cruelty in common human institutions, Billy Pilgrim turns to the Tralfalmadorian concept of time.
     Billy Pilgrim has been through many cruelties in his life. As a child his own father was cruel to him. They had gone to the Y.M.C.A. to teach Billy how to swim. A horrible, traumatic, event that would stay with Billy for the rest of his life. “Little Billy was terrified, because his father had said Billy was going to learn to swim by the method of sink-or –swim. His father was going to throw Billy into the deep end, and Billy was going to damn well swim”(43). Roland Wear was a very cruel man as well. He even to it as far as to try and kill Billy by kicking
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Poor Billy Pilgrim has to have a crucifix that shows Jesus dyeing on the cross. Even Religion, which almost everyone has found peace in, cannot comfort him. Religion is supposed to give meaning to life, through that meaning it should comfort . “Billy had an extremely gruesome crucifix hanging on the wall of his little bedroom in Ilium. A military surgeon would have admired the clinical fidelity of the artist’s rendition of all Christ’s wounds the spear that were made by the iron spikes Billy Christ died horribly. He was pitiful”(38). The institutions that Billy stayed at were horrible for him. They could not meet the needs that could help comfort Billy. The people at these places should try and censor what other patients say, and visitors say around the special patients. “He often said to them, in one way or another, that people who were weak deserved to die”(193). All of these human creations to help people in Billy’s situation and others who are to be considered mentally challenged, and not a single one would work.
     Billy through all of his hardships trying to find comfort could only be done through the Tralfalmadorian concept of time. The idea behind the Tralfalmadorian’s concept of time is that it is like a slide show. That it is possible to take a slide out and look at it, even relive it over and over again. The past, present, and
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