Slaughterhouse Five Lucinda, jillian

"Listen: Billy pilgrim has come unstuck in time" (Vonnegut 23).

What does this mean?

The moment Billy first becomes unstuck in time is when he is behind enemy lines. He jumps forward beyond death, and jumps back before birth. Basically he travels through time with little control over where he goes.

Themes to consider: Lack of Freewill, Time Travel

The Tralfamadorians influence this idea of becoming unstuck in time.
"So it goes"
"I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is 'so it goes'' (Vonnegut 27).

The Tralfamadorians frequently use the term, "So it goes", after the death of someone. Billy adopts the phrase, and it is used 106 times in the novel. Those words create peace because on Tralfamador, a person may be dead in a particular moment, but he or she is alive in all the other moments of his or her life"

Themes to consider: Death, Time Travel, Fate

Billy goes to war.

We find out that Billy gets drafted to war in Chapter 2. Its 1944, and he gets sent to Germany to fight in WWII.

Billy becomes a prisoner.

The reason that this is such a major point in the book, is because it further demonstrates how Billy is always under control of other people. Billy starts experiencing time out of order because of his traumatic encounters.

Billy witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

This is so traumatic because after all that has happened to him, he survives a city going down in flames. He witnesses so much death, which is a major moment in Slaughterhouse Five.

Themes to consider: Freedom and Confinement, Warfare, Suffering

Billy has a nervous breakdown.

After being forced to see so much destruction and death, Billy has a breakdown mentally. Billy checks himself into a local veteran's hospital to recuperate mentally in Chapter 5.

Themes to consider: Time, Suffering, Warfare

Billy's sister takes care of him.
Barbra, Billy's sister, takes responsibility for him at the end. He gives her every reason she needs to believe he is not stable.

"She feels that Billy has gone senile, so she threatens to put him in an old-age home along with his mother."

Themes to consider: Suffering, Warfare, family

Created By
Jillian Renner

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