This essay is on the novel entitled Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Essay by haitianprincess606High School, 11th gradeA, April 2004

download word file, 16 pages 4.7

Schlachthof Fünf


The novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, raises many important questions that surround itself with one of the major themes in the novel. Themes such as life and death, the role of fate in one's life, time and space, acceptance and human dignity (just to name a few). Slaughterhouse-Five forces the individual who reads it to ask many moralistic questions. Questions such as where he/she would spend eternity, what is one's purpose in life, what is faith and morality and if there is such a thing in this cruel world then why children would be called to fight in a war and participate in a 'duty dance with death'. Kurt Vonnegut attempted to answer some of these questions that have plagued society with his novel, Slaughterhouse- Five.

Vonnegut wrote Slaughterhouse- Five so that the book's protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, ventured out to various occurrences in his life. Throughout the course of the novel, Billy used time travel to endeavor answering those questions.

Billy Pilgrim was portrayed as being an all time unusual protagonist for a war novel. Billy is weak, submissive, and often ludicrous. His nature is not equipped for war in any way and this is proven true what he nearly dies wandering behind the German lines during the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he finished his academic career, became an optometrist, and married Valencia Merble-a woman who was bought up from a well to do family. Billy Pilgrim's ludicrous personality soon came into play when he began to believe that aliens who inhabited the planet Tralfamadore abducted him. There he remains to be "unstuck in time"- a term used to express the experience of his life out of chronological order.

Many passages, motifs, and symbolisms help convey Vonnegut's messages that he expressed in the themes of Slaughterhouse-Five. A...