The Mind of Vonnegut…

Welcome back friends.

“Birds were talking. One bird said to Billy Pilgrim, “Poo-tee-weet?”

Of course, Kurt Vonnegut could not end the book in a simple manner. He did not want to give me a break. Instead he left me confused for the thousandth time. The quote above is the last thing he wrote in the book. I thought I would read the last page of the book with relief, but I end up lost. My first thought was “what the heck is that?” because I know he ended the book like this for a reason. I notice that this is not the first time “poo-tee-weet” has been used in the novel. I remember him using it for the first time in the first chapter. I did not think anything of it the first time I saw it, but this time I went to Google for further help. The sound is from a jabbering bird, and it symbolizes the lack of anything important to say about war. The birdsong plays in total silence after a massacre. It makes sense because there usually is nothing more to say after a tragedy. There are no words that can explain the pain or damage from war. The way the war in the book ended was in fire, so it cannot be described because everything is gone. The city is gone and so are their words. Everything has been burnt down and demolished.

The quote is used at the end of the book to sum up the story. War ruins everything and leaves people speechless. It could also be the only way to describe what Dresden was like after the firebombing. There was complete silence and all that can be heard is a bird chirping. War is supposed to find resolutions. This is rarely ever the case. War ruins lives. The bombing in Dresden was devastating. Billy is using this saying to reflect on his life. Most of his memories are of war and being a prisoner of war.

Also, birds do not talk, so he is saying that at the end of the day the birds are still going to chirp. It is like he is saying that life still goes on after war. Life is going to be different, but there is an afterlife once the war ends. The birds will remain the same.

Billy also uses the winding down of the book as an opportunity to wear the “so it goes” term out. I thought he had said it enough throughout the book, but he says it three times on one page. It was Billy’s new record. I really do not want to hear or see those words anymore from this day forward. I see why he used it so much towards the end. The bombing caused a lot of people to lose their lives. He also wanted to update us on the lives of some of the people he met while at war. He is tying up lose ends that the book creates while telling his story.

Usually, the last chapter of the book is supposed to answer any questions, but the author could not do this because there are no answers for the bombing. There is also no resolution. I am left confused because that is exactly how Billy felt. He did not get any answers, so why should I? He did not get any explanations, so why should I get any? This idea is genius, and it creates a true bond between the book and me. It took me a while to see what he was trying to do by ending the book this way, and I see it now. I am speechless just like Billy, and there is nothing more to say. What happened in the book happened, and I can only accept that. I am truly astonished. I did not think this book would blow my mind or make me think this deep. I thought I would hate it or that it would be another book I had to read for school. This book has definitely surpassed my expectations. I applaud Kurt Vonnegut.

Science vs. Religion…

Hey guys! I finally finished the novel Slaughterhouse Five! If I could put emojis on here I would definitely put the dancing man. Anyways, I found a quote that I wanted to talk a little bit about because it caught my attention. It really shows the separation between Billy’s reality and the real world. It also shows how well Billy knows the culture of the Tralfamadorians.

 “On Tralfamadore, says Billy Pilgrim, there isn’t much interest in Jesus Christ. The Earthling figure who is most engaging to the Tralfamadorian mind, he says, is Charles Darwin—who taught that those who die are meant to die, that corpses are improvements.” Chapter 10.

Billy get to know the aliens and their culture. He claims that their culture does not view Jesus Christ the way humans do on earth. I see how they could think like this. Aliens are based off science, so I would imagine their thoughts would be scientific based. The scientist Charles Darwin created the idea of evolution. This theory has a lot of controversy especially in the classroom. His theory is basically that humans evolved from apes. He believes other species have evolved too, but that is the most controversial part of his theory. The two groups in this argument are the Christians and scientist. The idea that humans evolved from apes is a very sensitive subject. The Christians believe that God created everything in the blink of an eye. The scientists have studied fossils and current bone structures, and they compared them to see any similarities. They discovered many similarities between the ape skeleton and ancient human skeletons. Some scientist feel like the Christian’s beliefs cannot be explained then they did not happen that. This is not the case because the Christian’s belief is based on faith. They believe in something they cannot see or have not seen. This is an on-going debate whether Darwin is right or not. His idea will remain a theory until proven otherwise. I doubt it will be proven. This is all I have for you guys for now. I will hopefully return with another topic to talk about later on. See you guys later!

Weary Forever…

It’s obvious that Lazzaro is not going to let Billy slide for Weary’s death. Lazzaro makes multiple hints and smart remarks about how he is going to get his revenge. Billy is aware of this. Lazzaro tells him not to answer the door after the war, or he should have someone else answer it. This is pitiful of Lazzaro. It is also the dumbest play in the book. Why would he tell his enemy his plans? Who shows their cards to the other players? Now Billy knows to change his name and address when he comes home from the war. Billy is responsible for for Weary’s death, and Lazzaro wants to make sure he pays for it. He constantly drops these hints at Billy. Lazzaro is telling Billy his future plans. These may seem threatening to Lazzaro, but I think this defeats the purpose. He is not going to be able to kill Billy if he tells Billy exactly what to do and how it is going to happen. He also brags about how he can arrange for anybody he wants to be killed for one thousand dollars. The man would knock on the door and say Lazzaro sent them and kill them.

That’s all I have for you guys right now. I will see you guys later for more. See you later!

Revenge…

Sorry about the drought guys. It’s been very difficult to find topics to talk about pertaining to the book, but I have come back to update you guys. It has been a minute, but here you go!
I have reached the part in the book where Billy wakes up after a night of painkillers. He spends his night using Morphine. I did not originally know what morphine was. I just knew it was a drug. Morphine is a highly addictive opioid used for treatment of moderate to severe pain. It can be injected or taken orally. In my opinion, Billy already has enough mental issues and adding an addictive substance could worsen his state of mind. Luckily, the drugs do not seem to affect him in harmful way. It is issued by the hospital, so that lessens his possibility of using it harmfully.


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“Anybody ever ask you what the sweetest thing in life is… its revenge”

Billy meets a man named Lazzaro. Lazzaro is an interesting character. He seems hard-headed. He is in the hospital after being knocked out cold after her tried to steal. He says something interesting, and it stuck with me. He believes that’s revenge is the best thing in life. He is referring to having the man who beat him up killed. This is pure ignorance. The man is not an regular prisoner of war. He is an officer, so of course Lazzaro plans to have him killed after the war. This is smart in a away because Lazzaro would love to have him killed now. The fact that he wants to wait shows that he has some common sense. Lazzaro’s outlook on life is different. If he suffers pain, he wants others to suffer as well. He might even want them to suffer more pain.

Back to Lazzaro’s obsession with revenge. I mentioned before how it stuck with me and made me really evaluate it. Of course Lazzaro is simply throwing shade to Billy and the officer, but i wonder if Lazzaro is right. Is the sweetest thing revenge? I think about all the times I have wanted revenge on people after they have done me wrong. I think the best revenge is the one that comes naturally. The person’s life is falling apart while mine is coming together. There is nothing better than leveling up on someone. Some people refer to it as karma. I feel like taking part in the revenge ruins it. Moving on and living an amazing life while they suffer is better than any set up Lazzaro could make.

I used to think like Lazzaro. I used to make others pay for the pain they caused me. Then, I realized that making my own revenge was not helping me, but it was hurting me. It made me feel good for a while then i felt guilty for hurting the people around me. I lost interest in doing it, and i changed my way of thinking. I realized that putting all that effort into making someone hurt more than me was pointless. I also realized that it was not my place to decide the punishment of others. In a way, I was trying to play a role that was not mine but God’s role. Lazzaro fails to realize this. He is seeking vengeance on Billy and the officer, but this is not his place.

I feel like Lazzaro should make the adjustments I made to my life. I understood that revenge does not make life easier, but it makes it harder. He cannot possibly think that he can kill all of the people that insult him or hurt him. Once he makes these adjustments, he will live a happier life and a more purposeful life. He is currently trying to play the role of God in every situation which results in the punishment of himself. He is not the judge. He has no authority over who should be punished for what and when they get punished and how.

So Lazzaro is a control freak and in general, a mad man. He gets hurt and makes sure whoever hurt him pays for it. He does not understand that in the end he is going to end up still hurt and on bad terms with God. He has to understand the “let go, let God” mentality, or he will continue to live a hard life. I feel like he has something in his head that is blocking him from seeing the true damage he is doing to himself in the end. In the end, he will still be hurt. The people who hurt him will be done with pain because he arranges for them to be killed. That’s all I have for you guys right now. I am working really hard trying to find connections between the events in the book and my life because I do relate to it in a way. Thank you for reading! Talk soon!

Gorgeous Boys and Sore Feet…

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Malnourished prisoners of war.

War is dreadful, and this book is doing a great job highlighting this. Everyone seems to be disrupted and fed up. A few of these men are prepared, and others are begging to go home. Billy seems misplaced, but he is not the only person. There is a man that is described as “scrawny.” He seems fine with war, but it is all he knows. It mentions that he is “sick of war,” so it is not his first time around. He has done this before, but war is all he knows. It mentions that he lives in his boots. His boots are full of war related memories and experiences. They are the only thing he truly owns. This proves that war affects everyone, and they can never recover from it. I noted that Billy’s last name is Pilgrim. I found it ironic because he is a pilgrim in war. He came from another place and is in a foreign country.

The book constantly emphasizes how the are just boys. When Ithink of soldiers, I think of strong men, but that is not the case for thisbook. It’s sad how they are taking away from their lives and childhood. Billysees a boy that he is infatuated with. “The boy was as beautiful as Eve.” Pg.68 Earlier in the chapter, he is looking at the boots and how pure they are.

“They were naked. They were so innocent, so vulnerable, so eager to behave decently. Billy Pilgrim loved them.” Pg. 68

He makes a connection with the boy and Eve. He is fascinatedwith pure people. When he describes the boy, I pictured an angel. He also useswords like “heavenly” and “lovely” and “androgyne.” I could not find thisparticular spelling online. I found “androgyny” and I assume that they mean thesame thing. Androgyny is the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics.So, he is saying that the boy resembles Adam and Eve. Billy is blinded by theboy beauty. The angelic is very nice to Billy. Billy sees hope in the little boy.He brings Billy joy and happiness. Billy falls asleep on the shoulder of a chaplainwith a whole in his hand. I thought it was significant because Jesus had holesin his hand from the nails on the cross. Jesus also did for his people. I thinkthis is foreshadowing that the chaplain risked his life for his men beforebeing captured. It could also be foreshadowing that he will die for someonepossibly Billy. It is interesting how Billy continues to find people that careabout him more than he cares about himself. It has been a while since he causeda scene by asking to be left for dead. It is like being a prisoner of war isgiving him something to live for.

The time travel parts of the book are taking alike time getting used to. I could not find a connection between the current situation and the jump at first. During the time jump, he is worried about World War III. It could be a sign of hope being pointless because he might end up back in the war.

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War veteran with two amputated legs.

This book highlights feet and how they are constantly sore. Theyare walking long distances. They are being treated like slaves. The beautifulboy from earlier in the chapter had his feet bandaged up. This is a sign that warwas weighting him down and making it hard for them to carry themselves. Whilein transport, Weary Changed completely. He was not his overly aggressive andmalicious self. I did not know what was wrong with him. On page 85, I read thathis feet were in tremendous pain. He did not care about anything else but relievinghis feet of their current pain. His colonel is currently dying of severe pneumonia,but he is not paying attention to him because of his feet. War is making ithard for him to walk and he cannot continue this journey. Billy’s feet were hurtingtoo. He had a weird limp that made him bobble up and down. Billy does not seemtoo worried about his feet like the others. They are making them walk long distancesand it is a cruel punishment.

My favorite part of this chapter is the ending. I do notknow why it made me so happy. It could be because I was half asleep reading it,or it is because Billy is going back to the aliens. I enjoyed the small portionabout the tralfamadorians from chapter two. I have been waiting to hear moreabout them. I find it interesting how he sees these aliens and no one else does,and he is able to leave for a long period of alien time but a short period of earthtime. His travels with them are interesting. I want to know how they came andwhy they chose him out of all the boys from the war. That’s all I have for youguys right now. Catch you once I start on chapter four. Talk soon!!

Princess..

In the beginning of chapter three, i am introduced to a dog. The dog is a female, and she is unfamiliar with war life. The dog and Billy are the same. They have both been taking out of their regular lives and thrown into war.

I know the book is about world war two and i came to the assumption that the dog came from a poor family the way they snatched him up. I tried to keep in mind the atmosphere and setting of the book. I know the German soldiers did not care about the wellbeing of their people.

Captured..

I am so upset! In the last chapter, Billy and Weary got captured by German soldiers. It is all Weary’s fault. He is over there yelling at Billy and doing the most. I am so mad. I knew they were going to get caught, I am still mad. Weary did not have to do all of that yelling. I guess he is tired of Billy. This is his second time freezing and time jumping. Talk to you guys soon.

Hello William…

The book is already starting up. The second chapter throughme right into the craziness everyone associates this book with. People wouldtry to give m an overview of the book, and it’s all happening in this chapter.  This chapter starts off in Billy Pilgrim’spoint of view. When I first saw his name, I was like “who?” Billy is a veryconfusing character, and he makes my head hurt trying to keep up with him. Mybrain before meeting Billy was stable, and now he has jumbled my thoughts. Thisman is crazy, but it is because of the war. I caught on to the shift betweenthe character and narrator this time. I am finally getting the hang of readingthis book. Anyways, I like how on the first page he goes ahead and tells usthat Billy was not right in the head.

“Billy isspastic in time, has no control over where he is going next, and the tripsaren’t necessarily fun.” -Chapter Two, Page 29

His lack of knowledge of when his flashbacks will occur makehim anxious. In the chapter, we are thrown with him in his flashback to thewar. He begins to talk about one of his fellow partners during the war. Hisname was Weary. His name is a little ironic because Weary was not tired.Instead, he was the one who kept Billy from being weary. Billy would constantlycomplain about walking any further and ask for them to leave him to die. Wearydid have a dark past. His past explains why he is so vulgar toward Billy. As achild, Weary was interested in a lot of weird things. He knows a lot about executionsand weapons. He even educated Billy while they were at war.

Billy is a burden to Weary, and I see why Weary is so aggressivetowards Billy. HE is making the trip worse and is getting on Weary’s nerves.Weary is being a little too rough with Billy. I read the part when Billy beganto time travel. Billy is leaning against the tree experiencing his first tie jump.I tried to look and see if there is any significance to how his jumps happen. Ilooked too see what triggers them, but I found nothing that stood out to me. Iknow Weary is very confused because I was too. I did note what happens as hejumps.

I was reading about Billy’s sick mom, and it said, “he wasn’ta widower yet.” Of course, my first thought was, “He married his mom!” I amsure they were talking about how his actual wife dying, but the order they wroteit in confused me. Also, in this part, Billy is reading a book in the waiting room.It was about executions and it is written by a man named William. Later in thechapter, Billy jumps to New Year’s Eve when he cheats on his wife for the firsttime. The lady asks about his real name, and it is William. So, William isreading a book about executions by a man named William, and Weary just got donetelling Billy about exactions in the present. I feel like Vonnegut is making aconnection between the time jump and the present. Weary talking about executionstriggered his time jump, and Vonnegut made a relationship between the two. I thinkall of Billy’s time jumps are triggered like this. Originally, I thought histime jumps were apart of his post-traumatic stress disorder, or they came fromhis collapse. I read future and discovered they started before he was captured.I find that weird, but it could be a sign of the beginning of it.

Chapter two is a slap in the face. I enjoy the introduction if a new point of view, and I am excited to see how Billy’s life goes. I do kniw that the book is going to pick up and start moving at a faster pace. The introduction of Billy is unexpected, and it is going to take me a second to adjust to his mind set. Icannot wait to see what other crazy things he does and sees. Stay tuned! I will see you guys next time!

So It Goes…

So. It. Goes. I lost count of how many times Vonnegut placedthis word in the beginning of this chapter. If I never hear those three wordsagain, I would not complain. This phrase is repeated every time Vonnegut mentions a death in the second chapter of the novel. It seems like he is sayingthat death is normal, and it happens. He is right, but he comes off as a bitheartless. I guess he adapted this mindset after being a prisoner of war. Theorigin of this phrase is from Billy’s experience with the tramfadorians. Theyare aliens that Billy believes abducts him and make him travel through time. Iforgot to mention that Billy is seeing aliens for the first time. I read thischapter with my mouth wide open. This chapter had me on the edge of my seat. Iwould stay up late continuously saying, “one more page.” I was rereadingpages because my brain would wander off along with Billy’s.

Billy is crazy, but his logic makes sense in a way. Why dowe mourn the dead? They are alive in the past and in our memories. Hisintentions are good, but his delivery of his thought is terrible. Beingabducted by aliens? I feel bad for his daughter Barbra. She had to deal withher mother’s funeral without any help, and now she is dealing with the demiseof her father’s mental state. She is handling it well, but Billy going into aninterview and talking about the aliens he sees is not helping. I think sheneeds to keep a better eye on him because she knows his condition.

I have just reached the part about Weary, and I can seewhere Billy got some of his craziness from. I wonder where Weary gets hiscraziness from because I am certain that Billy got his from Weary. I know Wearywas talking about the different types of torture. I feel like Weary is going toteach Billy a lot about war and help him survive. I will get back with you guysonce I have finished the chapter. Stay tuned and I’ll talk to you guyssoon!!

Chapter One…

“My name is Yon Yonson,

I live in Wisconsin.

I work in a lumber yard there.

The people I meet as

I walk down the street,

They say “Hello!”

I say “Hello!”

They say “What’s your name.”

I say: My name is Yon Yonson…”

-Page 3-4

The reoccurrence of the lyrics inthis quote puzzled me every time I read them. In the middle of explaining astory, the main character would just blurt out these lyrics. At first, I justlooked over the lyrics and continued reading until I saw them again. I knewthere was a reason Vonnegut put that in there again, and I had to look deeper into the origin of the song. I needed to know why he said it again and why atsuch a random time. I found out that this book thrives on repetition, and it emphasizes the significance of the repeated words. The song in his head has lyrics that repeat themselves, and the song basically has no ending. This is a reference to theset up of the book. He repeats himself a lot, but it is how his brain works. His memories are based of symbols. He says random things, but they end up connectingto another memory. For example, on page 8, he refers to a man walk with a thing in his bag. The thing is a secret, and he keeps his bag close to him expect forwhen he is walking behind the main character. The man finally shows the main character what is inside, and it is an Eiffel Tower statue. The main characterbegins to talk about his time in France. I discovered that there is a relationship between his outburst and they lead to different parts of his memory. The repetitionis like a map that guides me through his brain.

There is also a significance to Vonnegut’spurpose writing or lack thereof. He mentions he wants to write a book about his time over in Dresden, but no one wants to be reminded of the war. His writing this book would be just like the song. He would be continuously writing whatpeople already know and are trying to forget. I feel like he is going to reopen stitched wounds. Mary, Bernard’s wife, feels this way too. During the maincharacters entire visit with Bernard, she is constantly interrupting and showcasing her attitude. She finally speaks up and expresses her emotions. Ican connect with her and how she feels. She could have lost her husband to the war and she does not want to lose her kids to the war. I understand her view on howd amazing war can be. It effects more than just the person fighting in it. It effects the family too.

I noted some irony in the book soonafter Mary explained herself. When he spent the night over their house, O’Hareleft a book out that was written by a woman named Mary. I found that ironic becausethe book was about war and Mary O’Hare had a strong hate towards books aboutthe war. She thought they promoted the idea. This goes back to how the UnitedStates Government promoted joining the army during the war. The government was misleading,and Mary believes anything pertaining to the war is the same.

I also found it weird that he referredto his daughter and her friend as “two little girls”. It is almost like he issaying they are strangers to him. I feel like maybe he does not have the timeto get to know them because of the war, or he might have forgotten important informationabout his daughter because the war ate up most of his valuable memories. I willhave to look further into that and see what it is about. He continuously refersto them as that, and I wonder why he refuses to use their names.

 In chapter one, he mentions that Dresden remindedhim of a limerick. It referred to a “tool” that took away his “health” and “wealth”.The limerick is about a man participating in one too many sexual experiencesand contracting chlamydia, and he is mad at his penis. The relationship betweenthis limerick and Dresden is temptation. Before World War Two, there was adraft. The government invested in a lot of advertisement in order to persuadethe men during that time to join the army. They were forced to participate. Theeffects of the war were hidden. The man in the limerick is blaming his penisfor his current physical state, and the main character blames Dresden for hiscurrent mental state.

 My first reaction to the book was confusion. I was like “what is going on?” I had to reread the first page more than five times in order to grasp what was happening. I also did not like the way it was set up, but I had to force myself to continue reading. I am glad I continued, and I am glad I searched things to help me understand the book better. I wanted to read without using the internet, so I could create my own ideas about it. After the first sentence, I was questioning who the “I” was that Vonnegut was referring to. Then, after some research, I realized that he is writing the book from the perspective of a man with post-traumatic stress disorder. It is interesting to see how he puts himself in the shoes of this man. It is not everyday that a person experiences the effects of war. The fact that he can explain what goes through their brain is intriguing. I believe the “I” is Kurt. I have mixed emotions about the book right now. It was had to understand, but I see the way it is set up. He wrote it in a way to show how messed up his brain is. I get to see what it is like to have Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. I hope I can further understand the difficulty of the book, and his reasons for writing it this way. I am interested to see how he connects this beginning to the rest of the book while maintaining this messy, but brilliant structure. I am excited to read the next chapter, but I am scared to see why the book was named Slaughterhouse Five.