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by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-Five Chapter 5, Section 17 Summary

  • The Englishmen are totally surprised at the sight of the filthy people who have appeared in their camp.
  • One of the Englishmen sees that Billy is on fire and puts him out.
  • When Billy doesn't say anything, an Englishman asks if Billy can talk and/or hear.
  • Billy nods.
  • The Englishman is filled with pity: he says Billy's not a man, he's a broken kite.
  • The Englishman asks if Billy is really an American.
  • Billy says yes, he is a private. He doesn't remember what has happened to his boots.
  • The Englishman is shocked by Billy's coat. He tells Billy that the coat is an insult. The Englishman says Billy shouldn't let the Germans humiliate him like that.
  • Billy faints.
  • He comes to realizing that he has eaten, and he's sitting and facing the stage where Cinderella is being performed.
  • Billy laughs hysterically, so hard that his laughs turn to screams.
  • They carry him to a neighboring shed, which has a hospital. There are no other patients there.

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