Study Guide

Slaughterhouse-Five Chapter 5, Section 30

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Chapter 5, Section 30

  • Valencia asks if Billy wants her to bring him any books.
  • Billy says he's got plenty—he has access to Rosewater's science fiction collection.
  • Billy asks Rosewater (who's sitting in the next bed) what he's reading.
  • It's another Kilgore Trout novel: The Gospel of Outer Space.
  • The hero of the novel is an alien (who looks like a Tralfamadorian) who wants to know how Christians can be so cruel.
  • He decides that the problem is the New Testament. It's supposed to teach people to be merciful, but what it actually seems to teach is this: "Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn't well-connected" (5.30.7).

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