Study Guide

Slaughterhouse-Five Chapter 5, Section 55

By Kurt Vonnegut

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Chapter 5, Section 55

  • During Billy's morphine-addled night in the prison hospital, the English officers bring in another American soldier.
  • The American is Paul Lazzaro, a car thief from Illinois. His arm has been broken by an Englishman whose cigarettes he tried to steal.
  • The Englishman Lazzaro tried to rob played Cinderella's Blue Fairy Godmother in the play they put on to welcome the Americans.
  • The Blue Fairy Godmother is carrying Lazzaro's upper body; the British colonel who gave Billy his morphine is carrying his feet.
  • The two men agree that the Americans seem like a pathetic bunch.
  • A German army major comes by the hospital to apologize to the Englishmen for having to put up with the Americans.
  • He promises the English (whom he likes very much) that the Americans are going to be shipped off to Dresden in a couple days.
  • The German major is carrying an essay written by an American turned Nazi about the behavior of American prisoners of war.
  • The author of this (fictional) essay is named Howard W. Campbell, Jr., and he will hang himself at the end of the war.

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