Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Slaughterhouse - Five Literary Term: Anachrony

  • Def.- discrepancy between the chronological order of events and the order in which they are related in a plot
  • Ex.- pg. 74-75, "It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War... Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this:... German fighter planes... sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen... German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new... factories were dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals... It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so that they would never hurt anybody ever again."
  • C.- On the night of his daughter's wedding, Billy has come downstairs to await the Tralfamadorians who were going to kidnap him. He knows that there is time to spare before they arrive and turns the television on to a movie about World War II.
  • C.- The anachrony of the movie moving backwards reveals
  • C.- that Billy does not truly believe in the Tralfamadorian view of death and time because he seems to project his wish that the war and the death and destruction that came with it had not happened which conflicts with the idea that time is fixed and cannot be changed and that death is inevitable. He is merely using their philosophy to cope with the pain he feels regarding the horrors of the war.

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