This personal response will focus on the use of a unique timeline in SlaughterHouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. In SlaughterHouse Five the timeline is jumbled and not linear, and instead in a non chronological order. This at first is very daunting and confusing however after continuous reading I began to notice things about this form of writing which enhanced the way the story impacted me.
First thing I noticed was how due to the era of Billy’s life switching almost every page it created a sense of tension almost like you have absolutely no idea what is coming next. Relating this to the topic of the book which is war, we can see how it is very similar. For example, in war the events that take place are very unexpected and you would feel great tension being a soldier who doesn’t know what is going to happen next. Because of this tension it makes me question if Kurt Vonnegut decided to write SlaughterHouse Five in this way to show the reader the feelings soldiers go through while fighting for their nation.
The second thing I noticed about this form is that it reminds me slightly of past memories. For example it’s almost like the entire story is the past memories of a trauma induced soldier who only remembers bits of his past and continuously switches between them. This would make sense as there are also lots of sci-fi parts to the story which could just be imagination mixed in with the broken up memory of a soldier. Reading it in this way made me think that even if you survive the war, your brain will never be the same and memories of the horrible past will live on with you.
The third and last thing I noticed is that because of the crazy timeline and crazy events happening and how the war scenes fit in perfectly, it’s almost like Kurt is showing us that war is just as crazy as the sci-fi parts in the book. I have never experienced war and considering how the war events fit in well with the sci-fi parts it makes me imagine that war is a truly insane and crazy thing that has happened throughout all of history.
(Im so tired)