Slaughterhouse Five analysis of symbolism, imagery, figurative language, tone, and theme.

Essay by ihateAPeuroHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2005

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Slaughterhouse Five SIFTT Sean Lawson

Period 1

Slaughterhouse Five, a novel written by Kurt Vonnegut, contains numerous examples of symbolism, imagery, figurative language, tone, and theme. The story isn't very chronological, every thing happens bunched up together. There are numerous settings in the novel. A large portion of the action of the story occurs in the small town of Ilium, New York, where Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist of the novel, was born. Having grown up in Ilium, he settles there after fighting in World War II. He also becomes an optometrist, marries, and raises two children in Ilium. Germany is another setting in the book, particularly the city of Dresden. During the war, Billy is sent to Dresden to do hard labor. During his stay, the city is bombed and totally destroyed. Billy, some other Americans, and a few German guards hide in the basement of Slaughterhouse Five during the bombing and manage to escape unharmed.

Another setting in the book is the planet of Tralfamadore, where Billy is taken by aliens. There he is held captive and displayed in a zoo, along with his earthling mate, Montana Wildhack. Their room in the zoo is loaded with items from earth and has a dome for a roof so that the Trafalmadorians can peep on the earthlings. The settings of the book are hard to keep up with because they are constantly changing due to Billy's mind traveling capabilities. Billy's antagonist is really himself. He is too weak to control his life, instead, he allows fate to rule his existence. Although he has the ability to time travel, he does nothing to control his journeys and lives in constant dread of where he is going to find himself next. He also dwells on the horrors that he...