Friday, April 2, 2010

Slaughterhouse - Five Literary Term: Hyperbole

  • Def.- over exaggeration
  • Ex.- pg. 178, "Dresden was like the moon now, nothing but minerals."
  • C.- The Americans and their guards come out of their shelter to see the devastation of Dresden and Billy remarks that it looked like the surface of the moon.
  • C.- The hyperbole that Dresden resembled the moon serves to reveal
  • C.-both the theme of the destructiveness of war and that Billy felt isolated from other humans, that he would imagine that he was on the moon, which is also evident in his content life on the planet Tralfamadore.

Slaughterhouse - Five Literary Term: Juxtapose

  • Def.- things placed side by side, usually unexpected combinations to compare and contrast
  • Ex.- "roses and mustard gas" pg. 4, pg. 73, pg. 214
  • C.-The phrase is used to describe an awful smell, whether it be Vonnegut's breath when he has been drinking or the smell of the "rotted and liquefied" bodies in Dresden.
  • C.- The juxtaposition of the beauty and sweetness of roses with the debilitating effects of mustard gas serves to
  • C.- emphasize the theme of the destructiveness of war, that war can make even the most beautiful things, such as roses, horrible and disgusting with its contaminating effects.

Slaughterhouse - Five Literary Term: Ambiguity

  • Def.-quality that gives something multiple interpretations
  • Ex.- pg. 215, "One bird said to Billy Pilgrim, 'Poo-tee-weet?'"
  • C.- Billy and the rest of the Americans were let out of the locked stable they had been staying in because the war in Europe was over. The only sound Billy could hear were the birds "talking."
  • C.- The phrase that the bird speaks, "Poo-tee-weet," is ambiguous in its meaning.
  • C.- In the aftermath of the destruction of Dresden, the phrase could symbolize the lack of anything intelligent to say about war and that it is as appropriate a thing to say as anything, since no words could really describe the horror of the Dresden firebombing.

Slaughterhouse - Five Literary Term: Parody

  • Def.- specific literary work or style of an author usually to ridicule
  • Ex.- pg. 142-143, "The United States of America has been Balkanized, has been divided into twenty petty nations... Chicago has been hydrogen-bombed by angry Chinamen... Billy predicts his own death within an hour... At that moment, Billy's high forehead is in the cross hairs of a high-powered laser gun... In the next moment, Billy Pilgrim is dead. So it goes."
  • C.- After hearing Lazzaro tell a story about his revenge on a dog that bit him, Lazzaro tells Billy that he will eventually kill him for Roland Weary's death. Billy then recounts how he will die at Lazzaro's hand.
  • C.- Vonnegut's description of Billy's future seems to parody science fiction novels.
  • C.- This parody seems to be ironic when most of the book is told through a character that believes he can travel through time and has traveled to and lived on an alien planet.

Slaughterhouse - Five Literary Term: Ellipsis

  • Def.- chronological gap indicating material has been omitted, used to invite readers to fill in the gap
  • Ex.- pg. 198, "Everything is all right, and everybody has to do exactly what he does. I learned that on Tralfamadore."
  • C.- In the hospital, Billy is telling Rumfoord about what happened in Dresden.
  • C.- The ellipsis between Billy's travel to Tralfamadore and his return to Earth
  • C.- presents the reader with multiple interpretations as to how and when Billy got back, or even if his trip was real or rather a coping mechanism to deal either with the tragedies he saw in the war or his own pain from the plane crash and the loss of his wife.

Slaughterhouse - Five Literary Term: Prolepsis

  • Def.- insertion of an image in a narrative scene that suggests that something occurred in the future, or flash forward
  • Ex.- pg. 141, "[Lazzaro] pointed to Billy with his one mobile hand. 'I promised [Roland Weary] I'd have this silly cocksucker shot after the war.'... Billy Pilgrim says now that this really is the way he is going to die, too... At the time of his death, he says, he is in Chicago to address a large crowd on the subject of flying saucers and the true nature of time... [Billy] swings back into life again, all the way back to an hour after his life was threatened by Lazzaro"
  • C.- Paul Lazzaro was telling Billy that he was going to kill him in revenge for Roland Weary's death, when Billy became "unstuck in time" and told of how Lazzaro really does kill him in 1976, long after the war is over.
  • C.- Vonnegut's use of prolepsis serves to
  • C.- emphasize the theme of free will versus fatalism and Billy's acceptance of the Tralfamadorian philosophy of death, which shows that through his acceptance of his own death Billy finally became the strong character that he was not throughout the book, when he was rather just a weak-willed and slightly farcical character.

Slaughterhouse - Five Literary Term: Analepsis

  • Def.- insertion of an image in a narrative scene that suggests that something occured in the past, or a flashback
  • Ex.- pg. 59, "He was stopped by a signal in the middle of Ilium's black ghetto. The people who lived here hated it so much that they burned down a lot of it a month before. It was all they had, and they'd wrecked it. The neighborhood reminded Billy of some of the towns he had seen in the war... It looked like Dresden after it was fire-bombed- like the surface of the moon."
  • C.- Billy is driving through a part of the town that was destroyed by a black race riot, and is reminded of the devastation in Dresden.
  • C.- The analepsis of Billy's experience in Dresden and his glimpse of the results of the race riot combined with his comparison of the two events
  • C.- reveal both the theme of the destructiveness of war, whether it be a declared war like WWII or riots, and Vonnegut's distaste for the unnecessary violence of humankind.