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Slaughterhouse-Five. In Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughterhouse-Five, the author uses the Tralfamadorian philosophy and the protagonist Billy Pilgrim's easy acceptance of it to enhance his anti-war theme. The Tralfamadorians, a fictional alien race from the planet Tralfamadore, see in the fourth dimension, time. They describe their view of time as looking at a stretch of mountains, with the choice to focus on whatever they wish. The entire stretch of time exists simultaneously. Humans, they say, have no control over which moment they see. Vonnegut uses this idea of simultaneity of events and Billy Pilgrim's acceptance of it as a commentary on war and modern society. Vonnegut uses irony to affect the reader throughout the book, but it is most effectively used as a device to convey his anti-war theme. ...read more.


Only ?on Earth is there any talk of free will," (109). Vonnegut's message is that we have relinquished our free will to the greater forces of evil, allowing war to flourish and ?destroy the better accomplishments of man, made in the past - the formerly beautiful and graceful city of Dresden, for example. The Tralfamadorians are a representation of humanity in the future. They are able to see in the future but do not try to prevent the horrible things they see happening. They have become apathetic towards death, since "When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is fine in plenty of other moments," (34). ...read more.


Vonnegut believes that people are moving towards believing this, not exercising our free will and not making decisions carefully, disregarding war and death as inevitable. Ironically, Vonnegut leaves judgment of Billy's sanity for the reader; his audience decides whether his views are valid or, as Vonnegut believes, form a senseless path to destruction and death. This underscores his support of free will and suggestion that we have forfeited it in order to "Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones,"(150). Kurt Vonnegut uses the Tralfamadorians as a tool to express, through irony, the senselessness of humanity's almost Tralfamadorian approach to war and how it can lead to nothing but destruction.? ? 294 words ? 592 words ? 644 words ?? ?? ?? ?? 91934 ...read more.

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