Slaughterhouse Essay

Submitted By bradyjeffery
Words: 650
Pages: 3

Brady Jeffery
Mrs. Green
November 4th, 2014
Slaughterhouse - Five

In Slaughterhouse - five, the main character Billy Pilgrim on numerous occasions is used to spark the question in all reader's minds does free will truly exist. In Slaughterhouse - Five, there are many different times where free will does, but also does not exist. In the novel, Billy Pilgrim is portrayed to show many different themes and symbols about War and life itself. Slaughterhouse - Five by Kurt Vonnegut embodies the idea that each of us has a destiny, but there is no such thing as free will. This is demonstrated by the characters of Billy Pilgrim and the Tralfamadorian aliens. Billy Pilgrim is a prime example of a character who is considered an anti - hero. He is weak, pathetic, and is the complete opposing image of what is thought to be a "soldier". "He didn’t look like a soldier at all. He looked like a filthy flamingo" (Vonnegut 33). During his time in the war, he has to go without a weapon, coat, helmet, or boots. Instead, he is left with floods for pants, a women's coat with a fur collar, and a pair of shoes with a missing heal that makes him bob up and down. When Billy was aboard the train on his way to the POW camp it stalled for about two days. Billy then finds a niche next to a ventilator. Inside the boxcars, the prisoners excrete into their helmets. It is then passed to the people by the ventilators, who then dump it all outside. Billy being the person he is lacks the dignity to say anything and becomes a dumper. All throughout the novel Billy makes a fool of himself many times by lacking the free will to make his own choices and decisions and put into situations where he shows how he is an anti - hero. Throughout the novel, Billy has these random outbreaks of sobbing and crying. Billy said "But sleep would not come. Tears came instead. They seeped. Billy turned on the Magic Mike Fingers, and he was jiggled as he wept"(62). Most if not all heroes do not show any signs of weakness and definitely do not show any signs of emotion. By showing all of this emotion, it shows that Billy does in fact have the free will to control his own feelings. Billy believes that there is such a thing as free will, although the Tralfamadorians throughout the novel seem to change his mind. The Tralfamadorian logic and philosophy of life is everything that happens is that we are