Slaughterhouse Five War Analysis

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The Effects of War in Slaughterhouse Five “Even if we [spare ourselves] destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction” (Solzhenitsyn). In wars, there are two types of people regardless of whose side they are on: those who die, and those who live. It is unclear which is a worse circumstance; though it may seem that living is a better choice, or in this case occurrence, the living deal with seeing the destruction and the deaths of many, including friends and sometimes family and living without them. In the novel Slaughterhouse Five, Vonnegut aims to prove the extensive destruction of war through Billy’s postwar life, his paralleled world, and his unbalanced behavior. In Slaughterhouse Five,…show more content…
Billy “was set up in business in Ilium by his father-in-law. Ilium is a particularly good city for optometrists because the General Forge and Foundry Company is there…that calls for a lot of lenses and a lot of frames. Frames are where the money is” (24). His success was almost entirely due to reasons other than his own talent. Another part of his supposedly successful life was his wife. “Valencia adored Billy” (182), but “Billy [doesn’t] want to marry ugly Valencia” (107). Billy ends up marrying her anyway and is okay with it because he “[knows] that it [is] going to be at least bearable all the way” (120), not because he loves her. When looking at his family as a whole, it is a nondescript one: 2 kids, one boy, one girl, and both parents. In a lot of families, there is a certain bond between the father figure and the son but there is no such thing between Billy and Robert. Billy “[likes] him, but [doesn’t] know him very well. Billy [can’t] help suspecting that there [isn’t] much to know about Robert” (176). Not a very healthy relationship between the two. The war affects Billy’s career and emotional connections to his kids and spouse, what one might characterize as “not an important thing, [but as] everything”

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