Sunday, March 21, 2010

Slaughterhouse - Five Chapter 2 Focus Questions

1. What does the author mean when he says that Billy "has come unstuck in time"?
  • he has traveled in time with no control over where he goes
2. List the major events of Billy's life depicted in this chapter? Why is this significant?
  • went to optometry school after high school, his father died in a hunting accident
  • goes to WWII and gets an honorable discharge
  • goes back to optometry school and gets engaged to the owner's daughter
  • has a nervous collapse and receives shock treatment at a veterans hospital, is released and marries his fiancee
  • practice is successful, becomes rich, has two kids, his daughter marries and his son joins the Green Berets
  • only survivor of a plane crash, while in the hospital his wife dies of carbon monoxide poisoning
  • he writes letters to a newspaper and goes on the radio, talking about how he came unstuck in time and was kidnapped by aliens and forced to mate and displayed in a zoo
  • this is significant because it is the correct timeline in chronological order
3. Describe how Billy and his daughter, Barbara, interact.
  • Barbara treats him like a child
4. What is Tralfamadore? What happens to Billy there?
  • an alien planet
  • "displayed naked in a zoo" and mated with an Earth movie star
5. How does Billy describe the Tralfamadorians?
  • 2 feet high, green, and shaped like plungers
  • at the top of each shaft was a "little hand with a green eye in its palm"
6. What ability do the Tralfamadorians have that Earthlings do not?
  • ability to see in four dimensions
7. What is the origin of the phrase, "so it goes"?
  • it is what the Tralfamadorians say when something dies
8. Describe Roland Weary's character.
  • "he was stupid and fat and mean"
  • was always ditched by people who didn't want him near them
  • pretended to be friendly with someone less popular than him, then "find some pretext for beating the shit out of him."
9. When and how did Billy first come unstuck in time? Describe the experience.
  • when he stopped to rest against a tree in the forest
  • "His attention began to swing grandly through the full arc of his life... There was just violet light - and a hum. And then Billy swung into life again"
  • went to before he was born, then to when he was a little boy and his father was going to teach him to swim
10. Why do you think Billy resented being rescued from the bottom of the swimming pool?
  • he knew that if he had died as a child, he wouldn't have had to go to the war
11. Identify the type of narrator in this chapter.
  • third-person omniscient

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