Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. What is the relationship between the structure and the content of Slaughterhouse-Five?
2. Briefly discuss some of the consequences of a Tralfamadorian view of the universe for a human.
3. How does Vonnegut’s technique of time-shifting affect our understanding of the novel? Is there an advantage to structuring Slaughterhouse-Five in the “telegraphic schizophrenic manner”? If not, is it too random to allow a cohesive, linear story to emerge?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. Many Vonnegut novels deal with traffickers of “useful lies.” Are the lessons of Tralfamadore useful lies? Why or why not?
2. Is Billy Pilgrim sane or insane? Does it matter?
3. Discuss the use of irony or black humor in Slaughterhouse-Five.
4. What does Vonnegut achieve by placing himself as a character in the story?
by Akumeoi, November 04, 2012
Some things that are significant about this book (in my view) that were not mentioned in the SparkNote are this:
Billy Pilgrim's last name
A religious connection in the book
The colour of his feet again
As to the first, I think that since 'Billy' was obviously chosen with care, 'Pilgrim' was too. Pilgrim could refer to his otherworldly journey through time, although it's uncertain what he would be making a pilgrimage too - possibly death. Or, it could just be his journey through the war.
As to the religious impl... Read more→
335 out of 356 people found this helpful0