Sunday, March 21, 2010

Slaughterhouse - Five Chapter 5 Focus Questions

1. What does the way Tralfamadorians view of the universe and Earthlings tell us about their concept of time?
  • they see all of time at once, its never ending
2. Is there a similarity between the format of Vonnegut's novel and the description of Tralfamadorian novels? Explain.
  • not in chronological order, meant to show all of a life not just parts
  • "There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects."
3. What does the American soldier ask the guard when the guard knocked him down? What is significant about his response?
  • "'Why me?'... 'Vy you? Vy anybody?'"
  • relates back to Billy's question to the Tralfamadorian and the theme
4. What was the main ingredient of the candles and soap used at the welcoming dinner for the American POWS?
  • the "fat of rendered Jews and Gypsies and fairies and communists, and other enemies of the State."
5. Why do the British POWs send Billy to the hospital shed?
  • he had a nervous breakdown during Cinderella
6. Why does science fiction appeal to Billy and Rosewater?
  • it is an escape from the reality of their lives into a new world
7. Why is Billy upset by his mother?
  • just because she is his mother
  • "She made him feel embarrassed and ungrateful and weak... [because he] didn't really like life at all."
8. Describe Billy's habitat in the Tralfamadorian zoo.
  • looked like a house in a magazine or a display in a store; TV didn't work, had a picture pasted to the front
  • "most of the furnishings had been stolen from the Sears Roebuck warehouse"
9. What was Billy's response when the Tralfamadore lecturer asked what the most valuable thing he had learned on Tralfamadore was so far?
  • "How the inhabitants of a whole planet can live in peace!"
10. What do the Tralfamadorians suggest Earthlings should do?
  • "Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones."
11. What epitaph does Billy think of on his wedding night?
  • Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt
12. Who said that he had "excreted everything but his brains" then moments later said "there they go, there they go"?
  • Kurt Vonnegut
13. Summarize what Campbell writes about American POWs in Germany?
  • poor Americans hate themselves, blame themselves for being poor
  • no fraternity between soldiers; "despised any leader from among their own number"
  • childish, self-pitying, "incapable of concerted action on their own behalf"


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