How War Leads to Destruction in Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut
“Peace is a road to happiness and the future. War is a road to destruction and death.” – Debasish Mridha. It is well known the conflict between different nations or states, demolishes your own nation, affecting the development of the economy, takes away the life from innocent individuals. Billy Pilgrim as a soldier in World War II has gone through War and has experienced similar events that have led to affecting his entire life significantly. In this novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut Billy had no answers, he was shaken from this devastating event. In addition, the central topic will be towards and the bombing of Dresden and how “War Leads to Destruction”.
Throughout this book, Billy Pilgrim is shown travelling to the Dresden bombing, back to his birthplace and to the planet Tradlafamdor in an inconsistent order. Firstly, the innocent community and residents of Dresden were harmed in the bombing, Billy stated that Dresden looked like the surface of the moon, “Dresden was like the moon now, nothing but minerals. The stones were hot. Everybody else in the neighbourhood was dead”. This was due to the destruction the allied forces had caused by the bomb and taken many lives of unwanted and guiltless human beings that were not supposed to be taken. In addition, prisoners of war from many lands came together to help with the digging of dead bodies, as quoted “Began the first corpse mine in Dresden”. Billy and other war prisoners helped to clean up the remains of Dresden and more than 25,000 people who died there, Billy observes the sadistic and cruelty of the globe once the city gets bombed. To add more, it was said in the book that the “bodies were liquefied, and the stink was like mustard and roses gas”. This quotation really makes me smell how the actual scene would smell.
Also, Billy encounters the Dresden bombing with acknowledgment and unhappiness instead of aggression, pain. Never in this novel was Billy seen to be in pain or aggressive with anything. Also, “135,000 people died as the result of an air attack with conventional weapons.” If Hundreds of thousands of faultless people died, imagine how many people got injured during this horrific event, just like Billy and how it is a significant event that has impacted his life ever since. However, This connects to the theme “War Leads to Destruction” because Dresden was left demolished, many faultless individuals lost their lives and left the city was left unavailable to recover affecting deep into their economy. One of the book’s most popular lines is ‘So it goes,’ stated whenever a biotic thing died. It makes him able to forgive anyone, and he never appears to become angry throughout the novel and proves himself as acceptive and deeply passive. The quotation “So it goes,” was stated by Tralfamadorians whenever they saw a corpse, they were described as “they were two feet high, and green, and shaped like plumber’s friends”. To them, death is simply a foul condition at a specific moment in one’s existence. Billy Pilgrim currently views death in identical means, I think this is because Billy learned from them when the aliens took him to Tralfamador to exhibit him in a zoo. “I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is ‘So it goes’”. This quotation proves that Billy has learnt “So it goes” from the Tralfamadorians. This statement was mostly on every other page, popped up a lot. This proves that there were a lot of killings, and destruction moments which clearly links to the thesis “War leads to Destruction”. The destruction has left a deep cut in Billy’s head. “Father, Father, Father- said Barbara, What are we going to do with you? Are you going to force us to put you where your mother is?”. Billy’s own daughter Barabara was tired of his craziness, everyone was. So she was warning him to be put where his mother was, in an old people’s home called Pine Knoll. Barabara even states that her father Billy is crazy about his stuff, “It’s all just crazy”. “He has seen his birth and death many times, he says and pays random visits to all the events in between.” When the world is quite enough for birds to be heard, Billy knows that the war is over, and peace has returned. That is when he hears a bird “One bird said to Billy Pilgrim, ‘Poo-tee-weet?’”.
Once again everything is quite enough for birds to be heard, as quoted on page 19 in chapter one, “It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. Everybody is supposed to be dead, never say anything or want anything ever again. Everything is supposed to be very quiet after a massacre, and it always is, except for the birds. And what do the birds say? All there is to say about a massacre, things like “Poo-tee-weet?”. To add more, the author had foreshadowed how the book was going to end when Billy quoted “It ends like this: Poo-tee weet?”. This quotation explains how at the ends of every massacre, you are able to hear the sound of birds tweaking. This ties into the theme “War leads to Destruction” because war has to end someday, and that day is filled with peace and silence To conclude, now without a doubt it is known that “War Leads to Destruction”.
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