by Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five Morality and Ethics Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Section.Paragraph)
On other days we have wars as horrible as any you've ever seen or read about. There isn't anything we can do about them, so we simply don't look at them. We ignore them. We spend eternity looking at pleasant moments—like today at the zoo. (5.45.4)
Is the Tralfamadorian stance on war—that "we simply don't look at them"—morally viable? Does the book seem to offer an opinion about Tralfamadorian ideas of morality? If so, where and what is it?
"[Revenge] is the sweetest thing there is," said Lazzaro. "People fuck with me," he said, "and Jesus Christ are they ever fucking sorry. I laugh like hell. I don't care if it's a guy or a dame. If the President of the United States fucked around with me, I'd fix him good." (6.3.2)
Lazzaro has his own messed up moral code: if you do him wrong, he'll get revenge. The obvious problem with his code is that he is a nutcase, so he always thinks people are doing him wrong, whether they mean to or not.
"You're going to have to fight the Communists sooner or later," said Campbell. "Why not get it over with now?" (8.3.3)
Howard W. Campbell, Jr. is a fictional American Nazi who leaves the United States for Germany because he thinks Americans hate the poor. Whatever you may think of this suggestion, his primary appearance in this book is to try to convince the American POWs to join the German army to fight a common enemy. He is preaching expediency: the end justifies the means.