Billy Pilgrim is the main character and the debatable hero of Slaughterhouse-Five.
His fragmented experience of time structures the novel as short episodic vignettes and shows how the difficulty of recounting traumatic experiences can require unusual literary techniques.
Read an in-depth analysis of Billy Pilgrim. Vonnegut himself was a prisoner of war during the firebombing of Dresden, and he periodically inserts himself in the narrative, as when he becomes the incontinent soldier in the latrine in the German prison camp.
Vonnegut actually has this other survivor of the firebombing contribute to the research and recollection process involved in creating the book, which allows us to take the novelistic details as fact and appreciate the thoughtful manner in which they are presented. Mary gets upset with Vonnegut because she believes that he will glorify war in his novel; Vonnegut, however, promises not to do so.
Wild Bob asks if Billy belongs to his regiment when, in fact, all his men are dead. Following the firebombing, Derby is sentenced to die by firing squad for plundering a teapot from the wreckage.
Valencia and Billy share a well-appointed home and have two children together, but Billy consistently distances himself from his family.
They perceive time as an assemblage of moments existing simultaneously rather than as a linear progression, and the episodic nature of Slaughterhouse-Five reflects this notion of time. Like Billy, Rosewater is suffering from the aftereffects of war, and he finds escape—and helps Billy find escape—in the science-fiction novels of Kilgore Trout.
Campbell represents all that is wrong with war; he desires to use people for perverse ideological ends. Gluck gets his first glimpse of a naked woman along with Billy. But Billy likely is delusional about his experiences with Montana, whose presence may have been imaginatively triggered by a visit to an adult bookstore in Times Square, where he sees her videos and a headline claiming to reveal her fate.
Barbara represents the follow-up generation to the one ravaged by World War II. Air Force historian who is laid up by a skiing accident in the same Vermont hospital as Billy after his plane crash. Lily Rumfoord is frightened of Billy, but she lies silent in the next bed as a symbol of the scope of powerlessness and lack of free will.
She visits Billy in the mental hospital, and her presence embarrasses him because he feels like an ungrateful son for being indifferent to life.
Billy prefers the bottom of the pool, but he is rescued unwillingly from drowning after he loses consciousness.LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Slaughterhouse-Five, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
War and Death Time, Time-travel, and Free Will. Billy is the main character of Slaughterhouse-Five, but he's not exactly the hero of the book. Or rather, he doesn't have the heroic qualities usually associated with the main soldier in a story ab. Billy Pilgrim The central character of Slaughterhouse-Five.
A pacifist, a soldier, a prisoner of war, and an optometrist (someone who prescribes corrective lenses for people who have visual defects), Billy is the epitome of a mild-mannered Everyman who adapts to life's situations rather than challenge them.
A detailed description of Slaughterhouse-Five characters and their importance. Part of a free Study Guide from timberdesignmag.com Everything you ever wanted to know about Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Five, written by masters of this stuff just for you.
Slaughterhouse-Five / Characters / he was abducted by a bunch of short green aliens from the planet Tralfamadore in to be part of a zoo exhibit on their planet.
He goes on the radio and writes letters to the. In a taxi on the way to the Dresden slaughterhouse that served as their prison, Vonnegut and O’Hare strike up a conversation with the cab driver about life under communism. It is to this man, Gerhard Müller, as well as to O’Hare’s wife, Mary, that Vonnegut dedicates Slaughterhouse-Five.