All In Good Storytime

category: Literature

Page Forty--Life on Tralfamadore

6/6/2018


In the 40th episode of All in Good Storytime, we read the chapters 4-6 of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. In these chapters, we meet Kurt Vonnegut as a fellow soldier, travel through space with the Tralfamadorians, see Roland Weary enlist Paul Lazzaro to avenge him on his deathbed, analyze free will at length, and learn precisely how Billy will die by Paul Lazzaro's hand in the future.

We discuss our interpretations of what free will and destiny mean in this novel, especially as it relates to fate and fatalism. We further question whether Billy is simply making up his exploits with the Tralfamadorians as a form of wish-fulfillment or as a way to cope with his trauma from the war We finally theorize that Billy has been dead this whole time. We contrast the English and American soldiers and their different approaches to war. Lastly, we criticize Billy's marriage to Valencia which appears to be based solely on a desire for money and connections.

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