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Pat Swenson, CSUN - Slaughterhouse-Five
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Prof Pat Swenson

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

Elements of Fiction

Literary Theory

Myth & Archetype: The Hero's Quest

ProfPat's Main Page

ProfPat's Education Links

Department Information

Department of English

708 Sierra Tower
Phone: 818.677.3431

English Department Website

Liberal Studies Program

EA 100
Phone: 818.677.3300

Liberal Studies Website

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut - Literary Discussion Guide



Billy Pilgrim, Kurt Vonnegut, Bernhard V. O'Hare, Mary O'Hare, Gerhard Müller, Roland Weary, Wild Bob, Paul Lazzaro

Edgar Derby, Valencia Merble, Tralfamadorians, Eliot Rosewater, Kilgore Trout, Howard W. Campbell, Jr., Werner Gluck

Montana Wildhack, Barbara Pilgrim, Bertram Copeland Rumfoord, Lily Rumfoord, Robert Pilgrim, Billy's Mother, Billy's Father


Person-against-self - an internal conflict of feelings.

Person-against-person - the typical protagonist vs. antagonist scenario.

Person-against-society - the protagonist battles against the larger organizations of society
(or a system of beliefs held by society).

Person-against-nature - the protagonist is threatened by a component of nature.

Themes, Motifs, and Symbols

Destructiveness of War

The Illusion of Free Will

The Importance of Sight

Personal Freedom

"So It Goes"

Author as Narrator/Character

The Bird (Poo-tee-weet)

Colors Blue & Ivory

Setting: Time & Place (1920s-1976)

1944-1945 - Germany & Luxembourg (Battle of the Bulge)

Ilium, New York

The Planet Tralfamadore (the zoo)