Kurt Vonnegut Writing Styles in Slaughterhouse-Five

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Structure

Perhaps the most notable aspect of Slaughter­house-Five's technique is its unusual structure. The novel's protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, has come "un­stuck in time"; at any point in his life, he may find himself suddenly at another point in his past or fu­ture. Billy's time travel begins early on during the major experience of his life-his capture by Ger­man soldiers during World War II and subsequent witnessing of the Allied firebombing of Dresden, Germany. Both the centrality of this event and its radically alienating effect on the rest of Billy's life are represented by the novel's structure. Billy's ex­periences as a prisoner of war are told in more or less chronological order, but these events are con­tinually interrupted by Billy's travels to various other times in his life, both past and future. In this way, the novel's structure...

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This section contains 686 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Slaughterhouse-Five Study Guide
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Slaughterhouse-Five from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.