5 important quotes throughout the novel
#1 "So it goes." (Vonnegut)
This is a Tralfamadorian motto that Billy caught on to. It's used after every death is mentioned in the novel. The reasoning behind this is because death is inevitable and suffering just happens.
#2 "Do you know what I say to people when I hear they're writing anti war books? [...] I say, "why don't you write an anti glacier book instead?"" (Vonnegut 3)
Theme: anti war
He's writing a book over something that he's pretty sure will never change.
#3 "Billy says that he first came unstuck in time in 1944, long before his trip to Tralfamadore. The Tralfamadorians didn't have anything to do with his coming unstuck. They were simply able to give him insights into what was really going on." (Vonnegut 30)
Billy's time travel appears to be a symptom of his overall suffering. When he's in danger, he simply flashes forward or back in time.
#4 "Those were vile people in both those cities, as 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 ( Vonnegut 21-22)
Everyone had been so dehumanized from the war and Billy loved to see that someone still had a heart for others.
Theme: morality and ethics
#5 "It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. Everybody is supposed to be dead, to never say anything or want anything ever again. Everything is supposed to be very quiet after a massacre, and it always is, except the birds. And what do the birds say? All there is to say about a massacre, thing like "Poot-tee-weet?" (Vonnegut 19)
Theme: anti war
There is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre, then writing a book about one. Perhaps like the birdsong, the book shows that life still exists in a world. "Poo-tee-weet?" being the last line of the novel leaves us with the unanswered question of what life is like after the war.