industries’ wage enslavement of its workers; promoting socialism to be the answer to Capitalistic monopolies.
First and foremost, Sinclair promotes the cause of socialism by describing the gruesome conditions that are provided for the workers at the slaughterhouses. The packing companies can care less about the welfare of workers because hundreds of people stand outside their gates waiting for any opportunity to try to do the job just as well or better than the man before them. For example, all companies…
In an interview on Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut states, “I worked as a miner of corpses, breaking into cellars where over a hundred thousand Hansel and Gretels were baked like gingerbread men” (“Vonnegut”). Vonnegut Jr. (1922-2007), born during the Modern Age, wrote his first story in 1947, known as the Contemporary Period. The Modern Age was different from the Contemporary Period because of its focus on art while trying to connect with traditions in the world due to their desire to have a…
One of the greatest impacts caused by disasters is one’s motivation for living. In Slaughterhouse-Five, many characters display twisted minds after experiencing wars. Billy and Rosewater find life meaningless, because they witness too many dead bodies in war; Lazzaro finds the sweetest thing to be revenge. As wars bring distorted senses to people, Vonnegut presents two opposing coping methods in Slaughterhouse-Five: One is the Tralfamadorians’ passive idea and the other is the narrator’s humane notion…
Determinism, particularly pre-determinism, states that the origin of creation controls when and why all events of the past, present, and future occur, which decisively contradicts the belief in free will of the majority of humans in today’s society. Slaughterhouse-Five follows the life of Billy Pilgrim, a young man who has become “unstuck” in time. The novel traces Billy’s experiences during the bombing of Dresden in World War II, an encounter with extraterrestrials, called Tralfamadorians, and throughout…
Slaughterhouse-Five, a novel written by Kurt Vonnegut, tells the story of the devastating effects of war on a man, Billy Pilgrim, who joins the army fight in World War II. The semi-autobiographical novel sheds light on one of history’s most tragic, yet rarely spoken of events, the 1945 fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany.
Kurt Vonnegut was born in 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana to German parents. As a young man, Vonnegut wrote articles strongly opposing war for his high school newspaper, and the school…
Slaughterhouse-Five: Why War Should Never Happen
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., a World War II veteran and author of the literary masterpiece Slaughterhouse-Five, was one of the many there to witness the destruction of the city of Dresden located in Germany, and one of the few to survive to tell the gruesome details. Most of his writing was used to encourage those with anti-war mindsets to take a stand, and to inform everyone else of the damage that is done when a nation goes to war. He uses his books to remind…
Pilgrim," said the loudspeaker. "Any questions?"
Billy licked his lips, thought a while, inquired
at last: "Why me?"
"That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr.
Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything?
Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs
trapped in amber?'
"Yes." Billy, in fact, had a paperweight in his
office which was a blob of polished amber with three
lady-bugs embedded in it.
"Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the
amber of this…
humanity's stupidity. The purpose is to entertain readers with perverted humor while illustrating the horrors of war that Vonnegut consistently describes, “anyone who seeks glory and heroism in war is deluded” (Vonnegut 26).
The humor found in Slaughterhouse is full of satire, creating laughable scenes that embody unconventional humor. When Billy Pilgrim is drunkenly searching for the steering wheel of his car “He was in the backseat of his car, which is why he couldn't find the steering wheel"(Vonnegut…
Ma-a slaughterhouse operation generally involves the following:
i. Final Scrapping
n. To Offal Room
o. Offal Cleaning
Before the animals are slaughtered they are kept in the stockyard for 2 days and are not allowed to eat. However, they are allowed to drink water. Normally…
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.
War is the third topic that is heavily satirized in Slaughterhouse Five. First, Billy almost gets killed because he is time-traveling. Second of all, Vonnegut always says “so it goes” (12) whenever someone dies, so it sort of mocks death. Also, he is given a woman’s jacket when he becomes a POW and it mocks his…
actually didn’t want to marry her. However, he was “stuck in amber”. Or, for example, Billy knew the exact time when he would be killed, yet didn't’ try to do anything about it. He couldn’t have changed it anyway.
Wayne Thompson thinks that Slaughterhouse Five was to show meaning in the absurd. The events in Dresden really are really only the outer layer, hiding a deeper meaning. In the books first chapter, Vonnegut shares a conversation that happened when he informed a friend that he was writing…
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…
Yes, it's a shame that Edgar Derby was executed for swiping a teapot. But people die everyday, and they will continue to die, no matter how many anti-war novels are written; besides, is there really a good reason to die? Our existence is finite;death is the only constant. Most people only contemplate this after one of two things has happened. They're either old and close to death, or they have witnessed something terrible, like massive senseless death.
After Billy visits Tralfamidore, he seems…
Vonnegut the time and money to revisit his nightmares in Dresden. Writing with his typical mix of the morbid and mundane Vonnegut says, “[Dresden] looked a lot like Dayton, Ohio, more open spaces…there must be tons of human bone meal in the ground” (Slaughterhouse-Five 1). Vonnegut later addressed the English responsible with a more vindictive passion: “You guys burnt that place down, turned it into a single column of flame. More people died there in that firestorm, in that one big flame, than died in Hiroshima…
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 point of view that Slaughterhouse-Five is written from also affects the way the reader fells about time after reading the novel. Since the story is narrated by a omniscient being that is everywhere with Billy Pilgrim, the reader gets a first hand account of every event in his…
first chapter, Vonnegut writes, "It is so jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre" (Vonnegut 19). Vonnegut is so overwhelmed by the horrors of war that he doubts his ability to write about them ("Slaughterhouse" 265). Later in the book, even Vonnegut included himself as a character of the book because he cannot separate himself for his experiences of war horrors. "Now Billy and the rest were being marched into the ruins by their guards. I was there.…
He also is in a zoo on the foreign planet, Tralfamadore. Billy also spends a brief amount of time in an institute for people suffering post-traumatic stress disorder due to the war.
Point of View: In the beginning, Vonnegut the narrator, explains his relations to the war and his experiences in Dresden. After that he narrates the story, but comes up at other various times in the book as “this is I” or “this is me”. He comes up then as for the reader to relate Billy Pilgrim to the author. The…
Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughterhouse-Five; or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death is, as suggested by the title, a novel describing a crusade that stretches beyond the faint boundaries of fiction and crosses over into the depths of defogged reality. This satirical, anti-war piece of literature aims to expose, broadcast and even taunt human ideals that support war and challenge them in light of their folly. However, the reality of war, the destruction, affliction and trauma it encompasses…
Billy’s travels with the aliens come randomly during his time-traveling spells bring about different insights and lessons that readers can get and put into their everyday lives. For example, on the night Billy is kidnapped by the Tramalfadorians, he asks a simple question that anyone in his position would ask: “Why me?” The Tramalfadorians respond to him in a way that seems bizarre for humans to think about, saying that there is no why and that the moment just is and that all of them are trapped…
Slaughterhouse-Five has two
narrators, an impersonal one and a personal one, resulting
in a novel not only about Dresden but also about the actual
act of writing a novel - in this case a novel about an event
that has shaped the author profoundly. The novel's themes of
cruelty, innocence, free will, regeneration, survival, time,
and war recur throughout Vonnegut's novels, as do some of
his characters, which are typically caricatures of ideas
with little depth. Another mainstay is…
short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre.” By the end of the book, the irregularity of the book makes the reader hate the style of writing as much as Vonnegut hated war.
As one finishes Slaughterhouse Five, they realize that Vonnegut is trying to make a valiant stand against popular culture and the glamorization of war. War, as…
… Disorientation and confusion“ ("Trauma/PTSD"). Vonnegut writes, in one of the very first chapters, “Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time. Billy has gone to sleep a senile widower and awakened on his wedding day” (Vonnegut 23). Throughout the book we are taken on a spastic and wild journey from one moment in Pilgrim’s life to another. For instance, Pilgrim is walking through the horribly cold, bleak and depressing German landscape with “The Three Musketeers” and ends up being dragged by Weary…
his death. Ironically, of the four original soldiers, Billy is the only one who remains alive, yet he is the most unlikely one to do so. Eventually, Billy makes it to Dresden, and he and the other American POWs are housed in Schlachthof-Funf (Slaughterhouse-Five), from which the book's name is derived. Because Dresden is an "open city", not militarily important to the Allied Powers, people from surrounding cities flee to Dresden to take refuge. Ironically, the city is bombed and the thousands…
Now they were dying in the snow, feeling nothing, turning the snow the color of raspberry sherbet. So it goes.” The narrator describes what happened and how it occurred. The imagery is very strong. The reader can imagine the snow slowly being dyed with the color of blood. Therefore, readers can picture a slow agonizing death. By ending with the statement, “So it goes,” the reader is enticed. The narrator states this when he finds that there is no need to continue describing the horrific brutality…
Moments in Billy's life change instantaneously, not giving Billy a clue to where he will end up next. In one moment, he is sitting in his home typing a letter to the local newspaper about his experience with the Tralfamadorians, and in the next he is a lost soldier of World War II running around behind German lines aimlessly without a coat or proper shoes. He then became a child being thrown into a pool by his father and afterwards a forty-one year old man visiting his mother in an old people's…
Although drastic presentations such as space and time travel potentially hinder the plausibility of the storyline and detach the reader from the text, it is this exact element in Slaughterhouse Five that returns the reader back into the story, bringing closer the relationship between the reader and Vonnegut himself. In this sense, this experimental form of narrative creates another Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum: a place in the novel where both the reader and the author coexist. With this new form…
live everyday as a normal person. And again this all relates to PTSD. It is not a given fact that Billy had PTSD, however as you read the novel you understand more about his life and why he is the way he is.
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…
feel, which isn't as great as humans. While hunting these rouge androids, Deckard's whole perception of what it is to be human gets questioned and he begins to wonder if there is that much difference between a human and an android.
Slaughterhouse-Five, is based on the author's real life experiences in World War II. In fact, chapter one of the book is all about how Vonnegut is going about writing this novel. The main character of this book, though, is a civilian named Billy Pilgrim…
Vonnegut was there, and his compulsion to tell about it urged him to eventually find a way.
Ironically, it was the cool meat locker of Slaughterhouse-Five in Dresden, three levels beneath the earth, that saved Vonnegut and a handful of POW's from the bombing that killed the thousands of men, women and children above ground in the German town. While exchanging memories with an old war buddy, Bernard V. O'Hare, Vonnegut sensed Mrs. O'Hare's obvious rage. Her livid commentary on Vonnegut's…
similar consequences of abuse. Furthrmore, by terminating the fictional world in Cat's Cradle with ice nine, Vonnegut points out how its real-world allegory, the atomic bomb, may have the same result. According to critics both Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five are anti-war books, but one is left to wonder why Vonnegut hates war so much. His view on life's purpose provides a pretty clear answer for this question. He thinks that since life means nothing, people fight wars to accomplish nothing. The…
By doing this, the people could "all employed full time as actors in a play they understood, that human being everywhere could enjoy and applaud" (144). So became Bokononism, one of the men taking charge of the government, and the other, Bokonon, retreating into the forest to preach his faith. After exploring the theory of Bokononism, and machinations of the men behind it, the reader is left wondering if Vonnegut is implying that democracy and our American ideals could be, perhaps, an elaborate hoax…
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that he wouldn't have trouble finding a job he was set for life. Billy even knew he was crazy to be asking her.
Isn't it odd that Billy's "Time Traveling" only happens in stressful situations and moments? Billy seems to have no control over it. It seems like whenever things take a turn for the worst Billy "time travels" to Tralfamador to get away from it all. In
Tralfamador all of his needs are taken care of. Tralfamador is a fantasyland for…
Another is peacetime America, where Billy prospers as an optometrist and pillar of society in Ilium, New York. The last is the planet Tralfamadore, where Billy and his fantasy lover Montana Wildhack are exhibited in a zoo. Each setting corresponds to a different period in Billy Pilgrim’s life, and the story jumps from one setting to another as Billy travels back and forth in time.
The main characters are: Billy Pilgrim is a World War II veteran, a POW survivor of the firebombing of Dresden, a prospering…
Cecile Steele, who ended up becoming a broiler chicken farmer due to a mistaken order. Utilizing her example, the chicken industry took off. Before long, it was figured out that by taking advantage of supplements and vitamins, growers could raise poultry completely indoors. Chicken yards and coops turned into little metal pens and cages. By the 1930’s big business was already getting its hands into the industry by way of men like John Tyson and Frank Perdue, who achieved vertical integration by combining…
When he tells Billy that he needs to figure it out and snap out of it, Billy says, “ You guys go on without me. I’m all right” (Vonnegut 47). This just displays the hopelessness in Billy’s life. The war has driven him to lose touch with himself and not value his own life. This makes it very easy for a reader to feel empathy for Billy and get an idea of how war can really affect these men. Billy isn’t the only character that Vonnegut uses to depict the terrors of war.
Throughout the novel, Vonnegut…
He confronts the Dresden experience with compassion and sorrow rather than anger, bitterness or pain. He sees the madness and cruelty of the world condensed in the blasting of the city. Vonnegut feels special anguish over the bombing because of his situation of being under attack by his own forces and sharing the sufferings of his enemies (Reed 494).
Billy Pilgrim's character is also greatly affected by the war and by Dresden. Vonnegut tells the story of the bombing with "a day in the life" format…
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.
Through Billy Pilgrim…
This kinship can further connect Billy and Vonnegut together. Since Vonnegut is a fourth generation German, it is possible that Vonnegut could also have a cousin that was a Nazi soldier (Biography). Though it may be a far stretch, a further connection the two have is the name of their hometowns. Billy was from the town of Illium, Illinois and Vonnegut was from Indianapolis, Indiana. The correlation between the two cannot be ignored. Billy could very easily be a way for Vonnegut to show the emotions…
Pilgrim recalled that the guards resembled a barbershop quartet as they “experimented with one expression and then another, saying nothing though their mouths were often open” (Vonnegut 227).
The night of February 13th to the morning of February 14th, 1945, Billy Pilgrim endured the firebombing of Dresden, which has come to be known as one of the worst bombings in history. More than 135,000 people were killed in the bombing and Pilgrim, along with a small group that took refuge in a meat locker…
The logic behind it runs something like this: a person’s personality and immediate environment determine his actions. A combination of his genes and upbringing determine his personality. Thus, a person has no real choice in the way he acts (Rachels 104-6). In fact, his entire life – every action he would ever take – was inevitable from the day he was born. His genes are obviously not likely to change, and his upbringing is in the hands of his parents and the community in which he grows. And…
The main character and protagonist of Cat’s Cradle is a man called John whose effort in life was to create a book titled “The Day the World Ended,” in which he could document the lives of the most famous nuclear physicists on the day and moment the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Throughout John’s journey to write his book, he finds himself traveling to strange and unpredictable places, which does not bother him because, “Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God”(Cat’s…
They like God take no part in the changing or altering of the past, present or future. "The moment is structured that way"(Vonnegut p.117). God does not interfere, due to the concept of free will for beings. While the Tralfamadorians take no part because of their believe in no free will. "Only on Earth is there any talk of free will"(Vonnegut p.86). The existence of free will is the major difference between the two sources of knowledge. God uses free will to allow actions to take place in order to…
This attitude refuses to place blame on American government or soldiers for the massacre of over a hundred-thousand civilians. It makes slaughter socially acceptable and necessary. The attitude, championed by Rumfoord, does more than ignore the value of those lives lost, it refuses to acknowledge the right of the soldiers who participated and witnessed firebombing to receive an explanation for their actions. And, in both cases, innocents die or are unable to move forward from the event.
Billy is a
mild-mannered man who would much rather cruise through life turning the other cheek
than having a confrontation. He is a tall lanky, goofy character that when captured behind
enemy lines didn’t have a helmet, boots or a weapon. He looked so ridiculous that a
German photographer took a picture of him to show the Germans how ill prepared the
Americans were for war. When Billy enters the POW camp he is portrayed even more as
a fool when instead of being given a normal overcoat like…
Legger, Knuckle Dropper,” these are just a few of the positions the workers at a slaughterhouse get assigned to. Simply reading the names of the above job positions induces a sense of nausea and hints at the inherent brutality that these positions demand (Schlosser, 172). Because the weight and size of cows are unpredictable, most of the labor in the slaughterhouse must be done by hand. On the kill floor of a slaughterhouse,…
Freud to the slaughterhouse. Abraham forced into it, states that Freud did it, that he is the one who killed Capitán, and he will pay.
Jakob denied being in a conspiracy, but Freud was too angry then to relent. Amalie attempted to soothe him, telling him Capitán was killed in a slaughterhouse with an odd-looking blood-red roof, by thieves who stole him for the bacon (literally). Freud was soon quite disturbed, because he was once in a fight with a boar next to a blood-red slaughterhouse. The boar…
general. He tried to remember how old he was, couldn’t. He tried to remember
what year it was. He couldn’t remember that either.” (Slaughterhouse-Five 56)
These flashbacks are told later in better detail, “…for he was simultaneously on
foot in Germany in 1944 and riding his Cadillac in 1967. Germany dropped away,
and 1967 became bright and clear.” (Slaughterhouse-Five His flashbacks
happened at any time, even while driving, indicating a severe case of Post-
Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Apathy…
This manner that runs the lives of slaughterhouse workers is completely unethical. In any business, stopping an employee from receiving due compensation for injuries is unfair and unethical. It seems like that in any other business, if a worker is injured, and does not receive fair compensation, they have the ability and drive to enforce the law; but in the case of the slaughterhouse workers, that are often illiterate, this rarely happens.
The fast food industry both feeds and prays off the young…
black population in New Orleans. These people wanted to be treated with dignity and have equal access to public accommodations and transportation.
The 13th and 14th amendments had been previously argued in the Slaughterhouse(1873) and Civil Rights Cases(1883). Through the Slaughterhouse decision, the 13th Amendment was intended primarily to abolish slavery as it had been known in the United States and anything short of involuntary…