Time In Billy Pilgrim's Slaughterhouse

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Billy Pilgrim awakens from his slumber all hot and sweaty. He knows that in an hour he will be abducted by the plunger-looking aliens known as the Tralfamadorians. How does he know this? Well Billy has a peculiar ability to travel through time, enabling him to know things before they actually happen. He heads outside awaiting their arrival. Soon the flying saucer, black as night, materializes overhead. The low melancholic hum of the beam can be heard as it lifts Billy off his feet and into the mothership. Billy asks a question any human would ask: “Why me?” As it turns out, the Tralfamadorians just found him interesting. The aliens do not have a need for him. They just placed him in a zoo exhibit for tourists to look at. Like Billy, the aliens can see into the future but on a broader scale. Billy can only see a specific event at a specific time while the aliens already know for instance, how the Earth will end. Billy now dozes off and travels to another time, and that is how the book goes- not in order.…show more content…
Unlike other novels, Slaughterhouse Five is not in chronological order. Since time in the novel is shown in broken fragments, the setting rapidly changes. A reason for this is as Billy does an action, he is reminded of another action that took place (or will take place). In other words, he experiences flashbacks. This way of thinking resembles the way a soldier’s mind behaves after the war. In fact the author, Kurt Vonnegut, was an actual soldier and a P.O.W. during this war time. The author made it seem the protagonist, Billy, as a doppelganger. This leads to some insight on one of Vonnegut’s themes of this book: the destruction of
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