Tralfamadorians In Slaughterhouse Five

435 Words2 Pages
Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse Five revolves around the novel’s protagonist Billy Pilgrim, an awkward and weak man, who has become “unstuck in time”. After growing up in Illium, New York, he is drafted into the army of World War II. He states how he has lived a dreadful life and during his times of war in Dresden, he often goes into the future and travels back to the past while visiting different events, hence the term “unstuck in time”. On the night of his daughter’s wedding, he explains how he was kidnapped by “two-foot tall aliens” called the Tralfamadorians, although he doesn’t reveal his encounter with them until after being the only one to survive a plane crash. Throughout the novel, Billy continues to experience time traveling…show more content…
As he visits Tralfamador, Billy learns that the aliens live with the knowledge of the fourth dimension, which, as some people say, contains the moment of times occurring and recurring instantaneously. Since the aliens believe all moments of time have already happened, for example “when a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse… the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments” (Vonnegut 26). And that only on Earth, according to the Tralfamadorians, is there talk of free will. Throughout his life, Billy runs up against forces that encountered his free will. He is drafted into World War II against his will; even as a soldier he was seen as a joke that was short of proper clothing, supplies and most importantly training. Although, acting as if free will exists does not mean that it actually does. Billy Pilgrim learns to accept the teachings of the Tralfamadorians which shows the ineffectuality of free will. Even if Billy were to train hard and be the best soldier there has ever been, he has a chance of dying like the others in the war of
Open Document