Sunday, March 27, 2011

Slaughterhouse Five And the Big Question

This book is a hard one to analyze in relation to my big question. It has so many facets and interpretations. The point of the book is that no one really wins in a massacre. Its more of how not to be rather than what to do, which is very different from my first book, where the Greek hero was the ideal. The aliens only looked at the nice parts of life, skipping over the sad. Vonnegut does not want anyone to overlook the gruesome part of life, the massacre that was the "Children's Crusade" I suppose that Vonnegut would say that the way to overcome adversity is to face it. He did this in his life, writing numerous books on the bombing of Dresden, learning to face and explore what he had witnessed, then spreading it to the world. In "Slaughterhouse Five", Billy Pilgram escapes from the horror of what he witnessed by thoroughly believing in an imaginary planet, were he was mated with a beautiful women and only viewing the pretty side of life. Billy Pilgram did not overcome adversity. He ran from it, hid from it, and then it consumed his life and drove him crazy. Physically, yes he did overcome the massacre. Time dragged him through it, he was not a participant, only an unwilling and passive witness. His inability to face the tragedy led to his downward spiral. This is a book of what not to do. In order to overcome adversity, you must first face it.

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