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Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five

by Kurt Vonnegut

Warfare Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

When the beautiful people were past, Valencia questioned her funny-looking husband about war. It was a simple-minded thing for a female Earthling to do, to associate sex and glamor with war. (5.50.1)

It's not just male war buffs who associate war with sex or who get some kind of pornographic excitement from violence. (See our quote from Chapter 3 above for more on this.) Valencia is also getting kind of excited at the idea that Billy was in a war. But what do you make of the description of this association as "a simple-minded thing for a female Earthling"?

Quote #8

You needn't worry about bombs, by the way. Dresden is an open city. It is undefended, and contains no war industries or troop concentrations of any importance. (6.14.6)

This line is delivered by the British colonel, who still seems to have faith that all the violence in the war is fair, justified, and aimed at appropriate wartime targets. Yet, as we know, Billy and his POW comrades are anything but safe as they travel to Dresden. How does the colonel's ideas of warfare differ from the reality of Billy Pilgrim's experiences on the ground in Germany?

Quote #9

Trout's leading robot looked like a human being, and could talk and dance and so on, and go out with girls. And nobody held it against him that he dropped jellied gasoline on people. But they found his halitosis unforgivable. But then he cleared that up, and he was welcomed to the human race. (8.8.5)

Kilgore Trout's novel suggests that people care more about how you look, dress, and smell than about what you do in the middle of a war. Do you think this is true? Do we see any similar criticism of social codes in other parts of the book?

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