Study Guide

Slaughterhouse-Five Chapter 9, Section 4

By Kurt Vonnegut

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Chapter 9, Section 4

  • Billy is muttering in his sleep, reliving his memories of the war.
  • Lily whispers to Rumfoord that Billy scares her.
  • Rumfoord replies that he finds Billy boring: all he does in his sleep is surrender and apologize and ask to be left alone.
  • Rumfoord is a hyper-masculine, super-rich, all-around successful guy. He finds Billy utterly pathetic.
  • Rumfoord then asks Lily if she has read President Harry Truman's announcement of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August 1945.
  • Lily sits down and pretends to read it.
  • The novel then quotes from Truman's announcement, which gives the reasons why Truman feels the atomic bomb is both necessary and scientifically remarkable.

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