Essay On Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

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Vonnegut suggests in Slaughterhouse-Five that death is nothing to fear or grieve upon. Vonnegut’s message is presented by the main character, Billy Pilgrim. Billy’s story is told in the third person, flashing back and forth through time in his convoluted, nonlinear life experiences. Just after his daughter’s wedding, Billy is abducted by Tralfamadores and brought to their home planet. These Tralfamadores are able to see in the fourth dimension, and they are also able to see past, present, and future simultaneously. Billy learns many things from them, including, “When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in that particular moment, but that same person is just fine in plenty of other moments” (Vonnegut 27). Because the deceased are alive in the other moments, there is no need to grieve for them. Billy also adapted the saying, “So it goes” from these aliens; they say this every time there is a mention of death. For this reason, Vonnegut…show more content…
Throughout the book, Billy takes unexpected and random trips to either the past or future of his life. Vonnegut writes that “he has seen his birth and death many times, he says, and pays random visits to all the events in between” (23). This may have helped him deal with the prospect of death because he is able to see that a person’s death is predetermined and unavoidable. By seeing his own death of assassination by a high-powered laser, Billy is able to accept the inevitability of his death and welcome his end because he knows he survives in many other moments. Billy shows his acceptance of death just before his assassination when he says “it is time for me to be dead while-and then live again” (143). Vonnegut uses Billy to convey that death is nothing to be feared because you cannot prevent the inevitable, and you will still live through many moments in

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