Slaughterhouse Five

Foreshadowing of Events in Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse Five'

THIS IS A NOVEL SOMEWHAT IN THE TELEGRAPHIC SCHIZOPHRENIC MANNER OF TALES OF THE PLANET TRALFAMADORE

The foreshadowing of events in Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse Five' is as much a subtle indication of things to come as it is an expository technique whereby the major plot points of the story are blatantly spelled out as facts, leaving us to proceed through the novel and watch helplessly as each of those points is hit, in turn, as promised. In addition, however, foreshadowing is more than just a structural technique used by the narrator: it is also a defining aspect of Billy Pilgrim himself - it is a part of his character, as his knowledge of future events influences his behavior throughout the story - and, on a grander scale, foreshadowing is woven into the very fabric of the narrative, for this is a story in which past, present, and future intersect and all events that occur are known before they take place.

"I've finished my war book now," announces the narrator - perhaps Vonnegut himself, though we cannot be sure - in the opening section of the novel, and already the end is in sight, for we know now that the story is told in flashback, and that the chronological sequence of events concludes with the...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 747 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4461 literature essays, 1451 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in