Study Guide

Slaughterhouse-Five Chapter 9, Section 1

By Kurt Vonnegut

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Chapter 9, Section 1

  • Valencia hears about Billy's plane crash on Sugarbush Mountain, Vermont.
  • The doctors tell her that Billy's head injury means that he could die or be a vegetable.
  • As she drives to the hospital, Valencia gets so upset that she misses the turnoff on the highway, hits the breaks, and gets rear-ended by a Mercedes.
  • No one is seriously hurt, but Valencia's Cadillac's rear fender is smashed up and her exhaust pipe falls off.
  • Valencia can still drive the car, so she puts it in gear and continues her drive to the hospital.
  • Driving without an exhaust pipe turns out to have been a bad idea, though. By the time she gets to the hospital, Valencia has been exposed to too much carbon monoxide.
  • She winds up dying from carbon monoxide poisoning an hour after getting to the hospital.

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