So Goes “Slaughterhouse-Five”

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It’s been a while since I’ve picked up Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five,” but opening up this novel is like putting on my favourite pair of jeans. I don’t have too much to say about Vonnegut’s novel other than no matter how many times I read it, I enjoy it more than the previous time. 

I feel sympathy towards the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, and my feelings are likely similar to Billy’s daughter Barbara. His ramblings of alien abduction and his captivity in an alien zoo require a suspension of disbelief if one is to believe Pilgrim’s story. However, despite these ravings, if in fact they are simply ravings, Pilgrim is an interesting character. Although being pretty boring and simple and generally disliked by those around him, he has an in-depth outlook on life. 

“So it goes” the narrator says again and again. Billy learns from the Tralfamadorians, who can see the fourth dimension, that we exist, we have existed, and we always will exist. Although death comes to us all, we will continue to exist somewhere in time. Quite comforting, don’t you think? This also means that we die, have died, and will always die. Everything is inevitable. 

I love how Billy is “unstuck” in time. It provides excellent comedy to the brief window of Billy’s life that we read about. It gives dull Billy an air of excitement as the reader never knows where he’s going to end up in the next paragraph. 

I’ll pick up this book again soon. I can’t resist Vonnegut’s call from my bookshelf. And if you haven’t yet read “Slaughterhouse-Five,” well, it’s about time you do. 

 

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