Billy Pilgrim's Life Lessons

Words: 488
Pages: 2

Often in a novel an author will have a character learn certain lessons that he wishes to communicate to the reader. This is true with Slaughterhouse-Five written by Kurt Vonnegut. Slaughterhouse-Five is Science Fiction novel that follows the life of Billy Pilgrim, a veteran of World War Two. The novel jumps around in time through Pilgrim’s life, all of which centers on the bombing of Dresden which occurred during the war. It is semi-autobiographical as Vonnegut also experienced the bombing of Dresden in World War Two. One lesson that the author teaches the reader, is the normalcy of death . Throughout the book people are either dying or dead. Vonnegut uses the same phrase after each death. He writes, “So it goes” (Vonnegut 148). This seems to reflect the casualness that which our society regards death. Increasingly, death does not shock people. A murder on the news or a bombing in a war isn’t regarded as a big deal. …show more content…
Throughout Billy Pilgrim's life, he goes through many horrible events occur for no apparent reason. Life seems to be terrible. “She made him feel embarrassed and ungrateful and weak because she had gone to so much trouble to give him life,and to keep life going, and Billy didn’t really like life at all.” (Vonnegut 102). Billy’s experience in life may reflect the author’s own. Vonnegut’s life was filled by the memories of the bombing in Dresden. After witnessing so much death and destruction, he may have been tired of hearing about the value of life. By writing Slaughterhouse-Five, he was able to express his feelings about life. Slaughterhouse-Five is novel written by a man trying to process what he saw in war. Unable to relate to those who hadn’t gone through war, he has written his thoughts and opinions in this novel. Using the narrative, Vonnegut is able to teach the reader important lessons. This makes for a thought-provoking novel, and interesting opinions to