Fate In Kurt Vonnegut’s Novel, Slaughterhouse Five

551 words - 2 pages

“Fate is a misconception, it's only a cover-up for the fact you don't have control over your own life.” –Anonymous. In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse-five, an optometrist named Billy Pilgrim becomes unstuck in time uncontrollably and constantly travels between his past, present, and future. Since Pilgrim is unable to control his time warps, he is forced to re-live agonizing moments such as watching his wartime friend Edgar Derby executed for stealing or going through the Dresden bombing repeatedly. However, he is also able to visit pleasant moments like speaking as president in front of the Lions club or his honeymoon with his wife, Valencia. Vonnegut’s use of repetition and vision of war, time and death are crucial to Pilgrim as he warps through time emotionless due to the fact that he knows, and will always know what will happen next.
Within the novel, Vonnegut kept a continuous cycle of life and death with the repetitive phrase “So it goes.” Said after each death, the phrase helps Billy and the reader accept that the death has occurred, and it will not change. The Tralfamadorians believe that deaths are predestined and their idea of the decease is reassuring because the person may be dead at that moment, but very much alive in another. They could always visit him or her with the use of time travel when he or she was alive. Because the phrase was very often repeated, it somewhat served as a tally to show how frequently death occurs and just how inevitable it is. Billy knew the exact date of his death and how it would happen, but he could not alter...

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