Slaughter House Five Analysis

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In war stories, death is usually inevitable and with death comes enduring and life-conflicting effects that change a character dramatically. Death can bring a modification of reality and a new perspective of life. These are evident in Tim O’Brien’s The Things they Carried and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter-House Five. Both war novels deal with life hanging moments and experiences that confuse the characters as much as they confuse the audience. These novels do not clarify or make solid conclusions, instead they imitate the unbalanced understandings that the features of war brought on, including death. Although the characters from both novels experience death, they take on different understandings and methods of confronting it. Billy Pilgrim, from Slaughter-House Five, understands that death is only a phase of life and should not be taken in a mournful manner. In the other hand, Tim O’Brien and Jimmy Cross struggle to find a sense of understanding of their situations with death, and rather trap themselves in a whirlwind of tainted perception. These differences do not damage the novels’ message of the effects of war and death. Death…show more content…
He has seen it so much that he has to find a way to explain it and his conclusion is that it happens and it will not stop. Billy Pilgrim gives the illusion that he was not affected by death during the war but in reality, it has changed his life completely. Billy states that the most important thing he learned from the aliens 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.”(Vonnegut 28). With this statement we learn that Billy believes that death is not really death but simply a point in time, a person will always be alive in the past. He jokingly says that it is silly for people to be sad. Death clearly does not mean much to

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