Study Guide

Slaughterhouse-Five Chapter 10, Section 10

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Chapter 10, Section 10

  • The corpses don't smell bad at first, but they slowly start to rot. The smell is like roses and mustard gas.
  • The Maori whom Billy had been working with cannot handle the smell and winds up dying from dry heaves.
  • To prevent this kind of thing from happening again, the soldiers stop bringing the bodies out of their holes. They start using flamethrowers to destroy them on the spot.
  • In the ruins, Edgar Derby is caught stealing a teapot from the rubble. He is arrested, tried for looting, and shot.
  • Billy and the other American prisoners wind up locked up in a stable on the outskirts of the city.
  • Suddenly one day, the door is opened: the war in Europe is over.
  • Billy and his fellow prisoners go outside and find that it is spring. The leaves are green and there is no one around.
  • The birds are speaking to each other.
  • One says to Billy Pilgrim: "Poo-tee-weet?" (10.10.11).

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