Slaughterhouse Five "War hero"?

How does Billy compare to our idea of a traditional war hero? What is Vonnegut trying to teach us about humanity through his novel’s protagonist?

How Billy compares to our idea of a traditional war hero is different from our traditional idea we all know. He remains as a child throughout the whole book, lacking the ability to make his own choices. Billy portrays more character of an anti-hero. Hero being a person who is admired or idealized for noble qualities or even his outstanding achievements, everything Billy doesn't have in a war scene. Although Billy has these characteristics there are the most common of what a can hero is in reality. Vonnegut teaches us something on how we as humanity think, we expect more off people to fill visions of people who are nothing more than someone out of a movie. We may want to believe that a hero is meant to be an incredibly smart and chiseled guy, when it's more likely the unusually neighbor next door. Those who do heroic acts can have unheroic characteristics.

Quotes

"Billy, after all, had contemplated torture and hideous wounds at the beginning and the end of nearly every day of his childhood. Billy had an extremely gruesome crucifix hanging on the wall of his little bedroom in Ilium. A military surgeon would have admired the clinical fidelity of the artist's rendition of all Christ's wounds the spear wound, the thorn wounds, the holes that were made by the iron spikes. Billy's Christ died horribly. He was pitiful."

The reason that Billy does not seem to seek comfort in God is that he associates Christianity with a suffering Christ. Even though he is a chaplain's assistant before he is taken captive by the Germans, Billy has no true meaning for why he fights.

"And even if the wars didn't keep coming like glaciers, there would still be plain old death."

What billy is trying to say with this quote is that war really does not cause death. Death occurs naturally and war is a natural human thing to do. War isn't the reason for death in the world its just human nature.

"You were just babies in the war"

This quote was from Ms.O’Hare and what she is means by this is that people who fought in the war are very childish and that the war is pointless. These men didn't join to fight for there freedom but for their fantasies.

"It is, in the imagination of combat's fans, the divinely listless love play that follows the orgasm of victory. It is called 'mopping up.”

What this quote is talking about is how he is a true war hero. Even though the war was won and got what he wanted, he feels bad for his actions and is gonna stay back and clean up the mess he made.

“Weary's version of the true war story went like this. There was a big German attack, and Weary and his anti tank buddies fought like hell until everybody was killed but Weary. So it goes. And then Weary tied in with two scouts, and they became close friends immediately, and they decided to fight their way back to their own lines. They were going to travel fast. They were damned if they'd surrender. They shook hands all around. They called themselves "The Three Musketeers." ”

What this quote is talking about is how Weary’s war story is a fantasized version of the actual war he's fighting in.

Videos

Poem

He flies around with a red cape

He is tall, smart and brave

He has been in other planets far from earth

He is able to save lives without a gun

His father, Jonathan Kent, dies

He is also known as a soldier protecting the world

He is able to withstand fire

No bullet has ever been able to pierce through his skin

His name is Superman

He walks around with a school looking wardrobe

He is just skinny

He has been in Tralfamadore

He survived a war without using a gun

His father, Mr. Pilgrim, dies too

He is a soldier protecting his country

He was able to survive the bombing of dresden

No bullet has ever pierced through his skin

His name is Billy Pilgrim

Credits:

Created with images by eric dickman - "Backside of Slaughterhouse from "Drugsden Way"" • geralt - "cross sunset sunrise" • elianemey - "skull cemetery genoa"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.