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The Role of Women in Slaughterhouse-Five

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Aliza Makhani

on 5 February 2013

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Transcript of The Role of Women in Slaughterhouse-Five

A Brief History Book released in 1969, at the height of the women's rights movement
Women gained suffrage by 1920- yet the movement was still alive 50 years later
Fought for their rights in the workplace
Fought for the right to use birth control and other contraceptives Our Assertion Though Vonnegut wrote his novel during the height of the women’s rights movements in 1969, women were still, ironically, portrayed very negatively in his novel because he over-sexualizes them and exacerbates their stereotypical character traits. On the other hand, some of the character traits that Vonnegut values include innocence and vulnerability, through which he creates his own standards for beauty. Barbara Pilgrim “Also, Barbara and her husband were having to look after
Billy’s business interests, which were considerable, since
Billy didn’t seem to give a damn for business any more.
All this responsibility at such an early age made her a bitchy flibbertigibbet” (29). The Role of Women in
Slaughterhouse-Five By Aliza Makhani and Shannen Sharma Lily Rumfoord “ ‘You guys go on without me,’ said Billy Pilgrim deliriously, as
pretty little Lily came in. She had been an a go-go girl when Rumfoord
saw her and resolved to make her his own. She was a high school
dropout. Her I.Q. was 103” (184). “Billy didn’t want to marry ugly Valencia. She was one of the symptoms of
his disease. He knew he was going crazy when he heard himself proposing
marriage to her, when he begged her to take the diamond ring and be his
companion for life.” (107). Valencia Merble Valencia Merble Valencia Merble “Thank you,” said Valencia at last. The headboard was singing a mosquito song.
“You’re welcome.”
“It was nice.”
Then she began to cry.
“What’s the matter?”
“I’m so happy.”
“I never thought anybody would marry me.”
“Um,” said Billy Pilgrim.
(119-120) “Billy--” said Valencia Merble.
“You want to talk about our silver pattern?”
“I’ve got it narrowed down pretty much to either Royal Danish or Rambler Rose.”
“Rambler Rose,” said Billy.
“It isn’t something we should rush into,” she said. “I mean-- whatever we decide on, that’s what we’re going to have to live with the rest of our lives.”
Billy studied the pictures. “Royal Danish,” he said at last.
“Colonial Moonlight is nice, too.”
“Yes, it is,” said Billy Pilgrim.
(111). Valencia Merble “I look at you sometimes,” said Valencia, “and I get a funny feeling that you’re just full of secrets.”
“I’m not,” said Billy. This was a lie, of course. He hadn’t told anybody about the time-traveling he’d done, about Tralfamadore and so on.
“You must have secrets about the war. Or, not secrets, I guess, but things you don’t want to talk about.”
“I’m proud you were a soldier. Do you know what?
“Was it awful?”
“Would you talk about the war now, if I wanted you to?” said Valencia.
(121). Shetland Pony “Weary had a block of balsa wood which was supposed to be a foxhole pillow...He had a dirty picture of a woman attempting sexual intercourse with a Shetland pony. He had made Billy Pilgrim admire that picture several times” (40).

“Billy was mildly curious as to what could possibly have been kept hidden in such a place. The clerk leered and showed him. It was a photograph of a woman and a Shetland pony. They were attempting to have sexual intercourse between two Doric columns, in front of velvet draperies which were fringed with deedlee-balls” (205). Billy's Mistress So what have we
learned so far? Montana Wildhack “In time, Montana came to love and trust Billy Pilgrim. He did
not touch her until she made it clear that she wanted him to.
After she had been on Tralfamadore for what would have been
an Earthling week, she asked him shyly if he would sleep with her.
Which he did. It was heavenly” (133). In the Slaughterhouse “There those girls were with all their private parts bare, for anybody to see.
And there in the doorway were Gluck and Derby and Pilgrim-the childish soldier
and the poor old high school teacher and the clown in his toga and silver
shoes- staring. The girls screamed. They covered themselves with their hands and
turned their backs and so on, and made themselves utterly beautiful” (159). Mary O'Hare “It was war that made her so angry. She didn’t want her babies or
anybody else’s babies killed in wars. And she thought wars were
partly encouraged by books and movies...I’ll call it
'The Children’s Crusade’” (Vonnegut 15). Anecdote from Gideon Bible “Those were vile people in both those cities, as is well known. The
world was better off without them. And Lot’s wife, of course,
was told not to look back where all those people and their homes
had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because
it was so human. So she was turned to a pillar of salt. So it goes” (21-22). Quotes by Kurt Vonnegut “All Vonnegut men are scared to death of women.”
“My theory is that all women have hydrofluoric acid bottled up inside.” “Billy usually didn’t drink much because the war had ruined his stomach, but he certainly had a snootful now, and he was being unfaithful to his wife Valencia for the first and only time. He had somehow persuaded a woman to come into the laundry room which was running” (Vonnegut 46). Who’s my Woman? Directions: Based on the analysis presented for each character, match the saying to the right character. "I'm the perfect wife because I'm number five." a. Montana Wildhack
b. Valencia Merble
c. Lily Rumfoord
d. Mary O'Hare Lily Rumfoord is correct! a. Mary O'Hare
b. Valencia Merble
c. Lily Rumfoord
d. Barbara Pilgrim "I'm tryna' find a china pattern of which I can't decide." Valencia Merble is correct! a. Billy's Mistress
b. Valencia Merble
c. Mary O'Hare
d. Lily Rumfoord "I'm glad I was able to persuade Vonnegut to name his novel 'The Children's Crusade'." Mary O'Hare is correct! "I don't deny that I like to cry." a. Lily Rumfoord
b. Shetland Pony
c. Valencia Merble
d. Barbara Pilgrim Valencia Merble is correct! Slaughterhouse-Five being banned Many schools all around the country have banned Slaughterhouse-Five, including those in Missouri, North Dakota, Indianapolis, New York and many others.
It has been banned due to
sexual contact
vulgar language
portraying of violent imagery "My dad sits there with a dead soul, and now I'm forced to take control." a. Lily Rumfoord
b. Shetland Pony
c. Valencia Merble
d. Barbara Pilgrim Barbara Pilgrim is correct! Thank you for
your time! So what does all of this
mean for the novel?
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