Slaughterhouse Five Essay

977 words - 4 pages

Over the past two months I read the classic novel Slaughterhouse Five. In this essay I will summarize the novel, do an analysis of the main character, and analyze the theme of the novel.

The setting of this classic novel is in Germany during World War II and the conflict is between United States of America and Germany. Slaughterhouse Five starts out with the main character, Billy Pilgrim, in the ruins of a crashed plane, which he only survived, going to Montreal for an optometry press conference. After the crash he gets a little traumatized and starts going crazy. When his daughter, Barbara, comes to see him she doesn’t know what to do with him. She tries to act like nothing’s wrong and help him get back to normal. Then it jumps to Billy in a war battle in behind enemy lines in Germany. To make it even worse he has no weapon, ragged clothes, he is all alone, and is the scrawniest person in the army. While he is wandering looking for someone to surrender to he runs into three other people, Roland Weary and two other privates. Then it jumps to present day where Billy Pilgrim is going to optometry school and he marries the founder of the school’s obese daughter. After marrying his daughter Billy’s father-in-law sets him up in the optometry business. Then it tells the reader about how he has two kids a boy and a girl, Robert and Barbara. Then it jumps even further when his daughter is at his house trying to figure out why he is embarrassing himself and his family by sending in letters to the newspaper of his experiences on a far off distant planet called Tralfamadore. Then it jumps back to the war and starts with how Billy wants to just give up and turn himself in. Due to this they have to split up, the two other privates go ahead alone and Roland and Billy stay behind and travel at their own speed. Shortly after they split up the privates are shot dead and Roland and Billy are captured and put on a train, Roland died on the train ride along with many other soldiers. After being put on a train Billy are sent to a camp for a while. Then it jumps to Billy being abducted by the Tralfamadorians. It goes on to tell his experiences on the planet and being in the zoo there. Then it jumps back to the war and explains what happened at the camp he was sent to before he got transported again to Dresden. When he got to Dresden he was put in slaughterhouse number five. The climax of the novel is Dresden getting bombed and the resolution is World War II ending.

The protagonist and the antagonists are the same person, Billy Pilgrim. Billy Pilgrim is the least likely character you would expect to...

Find Another Essay On Slaughterhouse Five

Slaughterhouse Five Essay

1241 words - 5 pages Slaughterhouse Five Billy Pilgrim is born in 1922 and grows up in Ilium, New York. A funny-looking, weak youth, he does well in high school, then he enrolls in night classes at the Ilium School of Optometry, and is soon drafted into the army. He serves as a chaplain's assistant, is sent into the Battle of the Bulge, and almost gets taken prisoner by the Germans. Just before being captured he first becomes unstuck in time. He sees the entirety

Slaughterhouse Five Essay

568 words - 2 pages Novel Summary Billy Pilgrim is unstuck in time, and so is Slaughterhouse Five. Novel follows Billy's "unhinged" life. If I write every hop, skip, and jump, the summary would be as complicated as the book. These are the basic facts of Pilgrim's life; they are shown in chronological order (but are definitely not in the book): Billy Pilgrim is born in 1922 and grows up in Ilium, New York. He is a funny-looking youth, he does reasonably

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five

3809 words - 15 pages Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five Great artists have the ability to step back from society and see the absurd circus that their world has become. Such satirists use their creative work to reveal the comic elements of an absurd world and incite a change in society; examples include Stanley Kubrick’s film, Dr. Strangelove, and Joseph Heller’s novel, Catch-22. Both works rose above their more serious counterparts to capture the

Summary of slaughterhouse-five

607 words - 2 pages Summary of Slaughterhouse-Five Slaughterhouse-Five tells the story of Billy Pilgrim, the main character, in chronological order, starting with Billy's capture and imprisonment by Germany during World War II. This story is interspersed with incidents of Billy's life on earth before and after the war, and from his fantasy voyage to the planet Tralfamadore. The plot is somewhat autobiographical, in reference to Kurt Vonnegut Jr. This

Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five"

1527 words - 6 pages I. Author- Kurt Vonnegut’s background had an endless influence upon his writing. In his early years, Vonnegut was a private in the 106th infantry division in World War II. He and five scouts were caught behind enemy lines, and then captured. They were held POWs and were beaten on various occasions. In 1945, they witnessed the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany. Kept during this time in a slaughterhouse, this is part of the inspiration for

Slaughterhouse Five Literary Analysis

1095 words - 4 pages , Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five explores this struggle between free-will and destiny, and illustrates the idea of time in order to demonstrate that there is no free-will in war; it is just destiny. Vonnegut conveys this through irony, symbolism and satire. Time concept is a complex idea that resist full understanding thus we can only percept it and determinism is a belief that is adopted by whose can percept time better than the others. In

Imagery in Slaughterhouse-Five

653 words - 3 pages  Kurt Vonnegut's uses many images to enhance the overall effect of Slaughterhouse- Five. Throughout the novel, in both war scenes and in the protagonist's travels back and forward in time, the many images produce a believable story of the unusual life of Billy Pilgrim. Vonnegut uses color imagery, repetitive images, and images of pain and suffering to develop the novel and create situations that the reader can accept and comprehend

Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

2145 words - 9 pages Slaughterhousefive Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., was written as a general statement against all wars. Vonnegut focuses on the shock and outrage over the havoc and destruction man is capable of wreaking in the name of what he labels a worthy cause, while learning to understand and accept these horrors and one's feelings about them. Through his character, Billy Pilgrim, he conveys not only these feelings and emotions, but also the

Antiwar theme in "Slaughterhouse-Five"

1312 words - 5 pages The dictionary defines that the word 'war' is a prolonged state of violent, large-scale conflict involving two or more groups of people. Though war is a huge impact to people in many ways. The author of novel "Slaughterhouse-Five" is also written by a person who had miserable experience about the war but also inspired by war. In the novel "Slguterhouse-Five", the author Kurt Vonnegut portrayed his feeling on war. In other words, this entire

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

1184 words - 5 pages 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

Slaughterhouse-Five: A Peace Novel

1434 words - 6 pages work in a syrup factory. When Dresden was bombed on February 13, 1945, he survived while hiding in a cellar of a slaughterhouse where the POWs were living. Vonnegut was finally able to come home in May of 1945. He discusses his struggle to write about his experiences of at the beginning of his novel Slaughterhouse-Five and was unable to publish the book until 1969. Vonnegut created Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist of the story, in order to

Similar Essays

Slaughterhouse Five Essay

1899 words - 8 pages portrays the horrors of war in Slaughterhouse Five, through the utilization of satire, symbolism, and imagery. The main occurrence in the novel was the nonsensical bombing of the culturally enriched and beautiful city in Dresden, Germany. On February 13, 1945 amidst World War II this city was attack and recorded among the worst air attacks in history with a casualty of approximately 135,000(Cox). The main character in the novel, Billy Pilgrim

Slaughterhouse Five Essay

973 words - 4 pages Slaughterhouse-Five      Critics often suggest that Kurt Vonnegut's novels represent a man's desperate, yet, futile search for meaning in a senseless existence. Vonnegut's novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, displays this theme. Kurt Vonnegut uses a narrator, which is different from the main character. He uses this technique for several reasons.      Kurt Vonnegut introduces Slaughterhouse Five in the

Slaughterhouse Five Essay

1433 words - 6 pages 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

Slaughterhouse Five Essay

1856 words - 8 pages 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