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Transcript of Slaughterhouse-five
(1922-2007) was a POW in Dresden
during the bombing. parts of Slaughterhouse-five
are based on his experiences. what's the book about? He is drafted into the war. He witnesses Dresden. in 1968, he is kidnapped by aliens
who teach him the concept of 'time travel'. Billy Pilgrim is an average joe,
with hopes and dreams. Billy Pilgrim the main character Cast of Characters unprepared, young boys who had to fight in horrible conditions and witness tragedies that would be forever engraved in their mind Billy Pilgrim is Vonnegut's interpretation of the real verison of the people who served in WWII: ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Billy may have PSTD Because: He only claimed that he had been abducted by the Tralfamadorians after he had been in a plane crash Sometimes PSTD does not arise in until after another traumatic event Billy's extraterrestrial experience
on Tralfamadore Real or Fake? throughout the entire book the setting bounces from Billy's life on earth to his life on Tralfmadore throws the reader off a bit because they
do not know which is the vs. real world Spoiler Alert! In the end.. We collect that Billy might have gotten ideas for his life on Tralfmadore in Kilgore Trout's books: "He was thrilled by the Kilgore Trout novels in the front. The titles were all new to him, or he thought they were...He got a few paragraphs into it, and then he realized he had read it before-years ago, in the veterans' hospital. It was about an Earthling man and woman who were kidnapped by extra-terrestrials. They were put on display in a zoo on a planet..." Sound Familiar? Edgar Derby a high school teacher from Indianapolis who had pulled political wires to get into the army at the age of 44 Despite the anti-war theme.. Derby represents American patriotism Derby the Patriot "Derby spoke movingly of the American form of goverment, with freedom and justice and opportunities and fair play for all. He said there wasn't a man there who wouldn't glady die for those ideals. Father Figure of the Americans He is the oldest Cradled Weary when he was dying Helped take Billy to th hospital when he started cackling at Cinderella Leader of the Americans Father Figure Why? is the oldest takes care of Billy when he needs to go to the hospital cradles Ronald Weary as he dies stands up to Campbell when no one else said anything old school teacher in the end gets shot for stealing a teapot shows how unmerciful war is Ronald Weary a cruel, thrill-seeking, glory-hunting
private Weary was Vonnegut's interpretation of what an actual army 'hero' Weary wanted medals
a grand war story
make his parents proud Vonnegut uses Weary to dispell
the true war hero image and to show the world what the war was really like However, Weary was different from our regular sterotype of a private in war. He was: cruel
vulgar Therefore, In response to a Nazi tryingto recruit Americans by talking bad about their home country... 1968. >> Fast Foward to: The US is in Vietnam.
Anti-war sentiment is high. How was it received? Today, Slaughterhouse-five is considered
a great piece of literature. It was back then also. Was a hit. Stayed in Top #10 New York Times
best sellers list for months in 1969. magazine called Vonnegut
"a cultural phonomeon" in
1970. BUT The book was challenged. It was BANNED. why? The book was seen to have copious
amounts of: sex
banned in schools It went to the supreme court,
which ruled that banning the
book on grounds of it being
unorthodox is ILLEGAL. It ranks 67th on the of 100 most challenged books from 1900-1999. Kilgore Trout & the Author He is the authors persona in the book... "Winning" Crazy, out of this world author who writes weird books that have an underlying messages
The author who writes all those sci-fi books that Billy reads in the veteran hospital even the noble can be killed for no good reason The author is also part of the book, Says in the book at certian moments "That was me." the Ladies where does it all take place? DRESDEN 1945 Before Febuary 13th... Dresden was a prominent city in Europe known for art, science, classical music, and culture the city had little importance to the war, most of it's residents were women and children YET Allied bomber command took it upon themselves to target dresden for one of the largest air raids in world war two Slaughterhouse five is described by its own
author as being a "anti war" book. Though,
it is not explicit in its content. Let's anaylze. Point #1: The books is not that gorey.
When it is, it's about civilians. resulting in a massacre of unprecedented horror Quote: Billy Pilgrim on the firebombing. " 'I myself.' " says Billy Pilgrim " 'have seen the bodies of schoolgirls who were boiled alive in a water tower by my own countrymen, who were proud of fighting pure evil at the time.' This was true. Billy saw the boiled bodies in Dresden."
"He told her about the stockyards with all the fenceposts gone, with roofs and windows gone -- told her about seeing little logs lying around. They were people who were caught in the firestorm. So it goes." why no solider violence? Billy Pilgrim experiecnes this firsthand the battle of the the last great german offensive of the war gorey hollywood films about
war glorify violence and war.
make it seem fun and glorious. such imagery appeals to people's sense of humanity
and emotions Vonnegut shows us the true soliders.
They are babies, thin and lankey. Fend
for themselves, no comapionship and have
to live in bad conditions. Billy Pilgrim went through this
and he wasn't even a real solider. lack of free will is symbolic. as previously mentioned, there is a lack of free
will in the book. thsis resonates with
the situation of soliders are forced to go and fight
by gov'ts (draft, etc.) cannot control who they
fight, who they invade,
who they kill. what about those aliens? in some ways, they are like us. they tell Billy that although they have wars,
they don't focus on the bad times, they just
look at the good moments. the whole time travelling attitude
(things will happen regardless of
what we do) is indifference. Sound familiar? we see bad things on
the news, say "oh
that's sad" and continue
eating our dinner. or we change the channel to
something more fun or
amusing. 'so it goes' is also a representation
of indifference. can be viewed as
saying war is part of human nature,
can't do much about it. justification of war in the book, many characters justify war. Esssentially saying, it's unfortunate
that it killed civilians, but it had
to be done. They were enemies after all. "It had to be done" Rumfoord told Billy, speaking of the destruction of Dresden.
"I know," said Billy
"It had to be done."
"I know, I'm not complaining". 9000 killed
23,000 missing or captured In Slaughterhouse Five, Billy Pilgrim is captured during this engagment Ilium, New York Billy Piligrim's home town In 1968, this area was rampant with anti war riots and demonstrations Also where he works as an optometrist B U
L G E 1968 Kurt Vonnegut was one of them Stalag IV-B Nazi P.O.W. Camp Kurt Vonnegut stayed here after his capture
Billy Pilgrim is taken here in the novel to stay imprisioned until he is sent to Dresden tralfamadore billy stays here in the dead of winter and the conditions are harsh apathy, depression and ethnic discrimination give Stalag IV-B a very dark image billy pilgrim is captured by the tralfamadorians who place him in their zoo it is sunny in tralfamadore for 23 hours a day Symbolism/Imagery on tralfamadore, he is supplied with all the comforts of home Kilgore Trouts books and writings symbolize the apparent mental health problems that Billy Pilgrim develops. tralfamadorians pity billy pilgrim since he cannot percieve the fourth dimension "The book was Maniacs in the Fourth Dimension, by Kilgore Trout, It was about people whose mental diseases couldn't be treated because the causes of the diseases were all in the fourth dimension...." This is similar from the Tralfamadore ideology that sexes and time exist in four dimensions. The Role of Women Through out the book parallels of Trouts books and Tralfamadorian philosophies arise. This leads the reader to question the validity of Billy Pilgrims time traveling, and wonder if he suffers from mental health dissorders brought on by the war and plane crash. In the Text "So it goes" although women play a small role in the novel, such characters as Billy's wife Valencia are portrayed in a relativley unpleasant manner "Blue and ivory feet" "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." "Poo-tee-weet" the lack of women can be attributed to either the historical context of when the book was written, or the novel's main focus and plot VS In a new historicism/feminism analysis, the era that the book was written in (1969) is a time when womens rights and the abolition of patriarchy is gaining ground but still isn't equal to what it is today So it goes, refers to the Tralfamadorian belief of time. They belive that time is not linear that existence is continuous and just because you die doesn`t mean you are gone. you still exist in different moments of time. "When a person dies he only appears to be dead, he is still very much alive in the past... When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment... Now when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say... So it goes." Through out the book, references of blue and ivory feet keep appearing. These references describe the similarity between life and death. In particular the corpses that Billy Pilgrim witnesses and the similarities of his life. "And what do birds say. All there is to say about a massacre, things like poo-tee-weet" The first chapter is devoted to how the author began to write the book He drunk dials Billy in the night in the book Vonnegut uses the term poo-tee-weet, when talking about the Dresden fire bombings. He uses this simply because there is nothing to say after a horrific incident, that birds just say it best with their chatter. (therefore) By making himself part of the book, Vonnegut adds to the quality of the anti-war message with his own personal experiences. They only have small roles in the book " You will pretend you were men instead of babies, and you'll be played in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so we'll have alot more of them. And they'll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs." Inspiring Valencia billy's wife Was never anything special to him "She was as big as a house becase she couldn't stop eating." - Billy Pilgrim She did, however, die because she was trying to get to Billy in the hospital. Showing that even when the veterans did get PTSD they still had family that would always be there fore them Billy's Mom "She made him feel embarrased and ungrateful and weak becasue she had gone to so much trouble to give him a life, and to keep that life going, and Billy didn't really like that life at all." - in the ward for nonviolent mental patients in a veterans' hospital vet's felt ashamed to get help Dialogue How the author imagines the
characters would speak In considerations of Vonnegut's writing style, the dialouge is very quick and rough, with short syntax Vonnegut often uses dark humor and satire to get to develop his characters "Today could be the day."
"Every night I pray."
That's a good thing to do." In the book, the slaughter house is referred to as a sanctuary. It houses the POW soldiers from the ironic slaughter of the Dresden fire bombings. So despite its original intentions, the slaughter house is a place of serenity. "But lemme give you some advice: Whenever the doorbell rings, have somebody else answer the door." "He'll answer the door, and there'll be a stranger out there....And he'll pull out a gun and shoot his pecker off. -Paul Lazzaro "and he whispered to him his address: Schlachtof-funf" "Joe College," said Weary scathingly
" There is more to life than what you read in books,"
said Weary. "You'll find that out." Weary, YOU do not even know
what life is like? Mrs. O'Hare Bernard O'Hare's wife FREE WILL The book itself was a symbol not just for anti-war, but free will. As the Tralfamadorian belief that there is no such thing as free will because to them time is not linear. In Slaughter House Five, humans are the only life in the world which believe in free will. The End. So it goes.