Study Guide

Slaughterhouse-Five Chapter 2, Section 12

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Chapter 2, Section 12

  • One morning, Billy is playing a hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" (2.12.1), to the troops he's accompanying on maneuvers in the Carolinas.
  • An umpire comes by Billy's detachment and tells them that someone had reported their detachment killed by a theoretical enemy. The troops have a good laugh over being thought dead as they eat their lunch.
  • As Billy remembers this moment, he thinks over how much like the Tralfamadorian idea of death that had been: to eat and be dead at the same time.
  • Toward the end of maneuvers, Billy has to go home because his father is shot and killed in a hunting accident.

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