¨Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time. Billy has gone to sleep a senile widower and awakened on his wedding day. He has walked through a door in 1955 and come out another one in 1941. He has gone back through that door to find himself in 1963. He has seen his birth and death many times, he says and pays random visits to all the events in between. He says. Billy is spastic in time, he has no control over where he is going next, and the trips aren't necessarily fun. He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next.¨ pg 23
In this quote, we find out that Billy has seen different parts of his life over and over again, he time travels and he has no control over it. I personally feel bad for him because doesn't know what he is going to see next, so he may see his death over and over again. He might relive things he doesn't want to relive, nobody wants to go through that.
¨There isn’t any particular relationship between the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.¨
This quote explains how the Tralfamadorian novels work, they aren’t meant to be picked apart and scrutinized but rather felt as a whole and experienced. It is also strikingly similar to the way Vonnegut wrote the book and may be his way of nudging at the reader informing them not to think too deeply and that the lack of chronological order between events is for a purpose and to read and feel everything all together to get the message across that war is but a senseless massacre that we have become desensitized to.
“Billy Pilgrim says now that this really is the way he is going to die, too. As a time-traveler, he has seen his own death many times, has described it to a tape recorder. The tape is locked up with his will and some other valuables in his safe-deposit box at the Ilium Merchants National Bank and Trust, he says. I Billy Pilgrim, the tape begins, will die, have died, and always will die on February thirteenth, 1976.” pg 141
Billy knows how he dies, and it will always be that way. If it always happens the same way, then he doesn't have control to change the future or the past, no matter how many times he's been there. It must be very difficult for him to see and do things he doesn't want to see and do, and not being able to do anything about it.
¨The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist.¨ (chapter 2.section 7.paragraph 2)
This again is a very different understanding/perception of time than we normally partake in. The idea is that all things are happening at the same time past present and future and that this moment is not the only one that exists so we are alive all the time and this is why there was no use in crying because in another timeline or time state we are fine. This also taps into the divinity of every moment saying that each moment was ¨meant to be¨ like it has all already been planned.
¨How- how does the Universe end?¨ said Billy. ¨We blow it up, experimenting with new fuels for our flying saucers. A Tralfamadorian test pilot presses a starter button, and the whole Universe disappears.¨ So it goes. ¨If you know this,¨ said Billy, “isn't there some way you can prevent it? Can't you keep the pilot from pressing the button?¨ ¨He has always pressed it, and he always will. We always let him and we always will let him. The moment is structured that way.¨ pg 117
This quote is saying that the Tralfamadorians have the power to end the Universe. According to the Tralfamadorians, a test pilot presses the button that ends the Universe. They mention that it has always been that way and always will be that way. So if this is how it happens, the Universe ends, eventually it will start all over again. And it will keep starting all over again.