Slaughterhouse Five


I need some metaphors and similes from this novel. If you can give me any give me the page number and describe the metaphor or simile to me because im not good at that. thanks!!

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The planet of Tralfamadore, where Billy Pilgrim and Montana Wildhack are held in a zoo, can be read as a symbol for the worldview that allowed Billy to assimilate his war experiences into his post-war life. The Tralfamadorian view is that time is an established series of events devoid of morality and cause and effect relationships. (1)

The group of four optometrists who sing sentimental songs figures prominently in two portions of the novel and in each case they are harbingers of doom. The first time they are presented is on the fatal plane ride that ends when the aircraft hits Sugarbush Mountain. In this case, the group's bawdy songs and light-hearted ditties serve as a reminder that horrible events occur in the context of hilarity and pleasure. The second time we meet them is years before the plane crash at Billy and Valencia's anniversary party. On this occasion the sight of the quartet causes Billy to suffer tremendous mental anxiety. Upon reflection he realizes that the quartet has reminded him of the almost comical appearance of the four German guards the morning after the attack on Dresden. In this manner the barbershop quartet, as represented by the German guards, again symbolizes the juxtaposition of horror and hilarity. (1)

Writers who are trying to convey the horror of way often use animals to convey the true sadness and terror of the experience. This is true of writers like Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front) and Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried) and it is true of Kurt Vonnegut as well. Following Billy's pleasant nap in the back of the wagon, two German obstetricians are horrified at the miserable condition of the horses and confront Billy who had not noticed that the animals were suffering. At this moment, Billy bursts into tears his only emotional outpouring in the course of the novel. In this way, the horses symbolize the needless suffering brought about by the war and the manner in which that suffering goes largely unnoticed by those caught up in the events. Moreover, they represent the latent pain present in all those who witness horrific events. (1)

Similes richly populate this novel’s text. For example, statements such as “bellies were like washboards” (pg 94) and muscles were “like cannonballs” are similes used to describe the Englishmen that Billy encounters. Their appearance reveals their difference in social class and how the Englishmen were “among the wealthiest people in Europe.” Similes are used to further emphasize certain details within the story, such as the social class of the Englishmen. Another example of this is on page 118 when Vonnegut states that “Billy made a noise like a small, rusty hinge.” By creating an auditory image, the simile provides the reader with a familiar sound to help the reader envision how small the noise truly is. (2)


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