Slaughterhouse-Five Part Four

Posted in Book Reports, GSU photo archive, Undogegorized, War by chamblee54 on August 4, 2015









This is part four of a Vonnegutian appreciation of Slaughterhouse-Five. Parts one, two, and three are already available for your amusement. This segment will deal exclusively with Chapter five. It is 45 pages long. KV says “so it goes” 19 times, which will be inventoried in this chapter. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

This chapter is going to be a new adventure. PG bought a laptop, which is currently on the work table in the middle bedroom. Since PG sits down too much these days, the idea is to have a stand up work station. This is a work in progress. Today is the first time that PG has operated this machine without having in plugged in. Portable work capability is essential to the useful operation of a laptop.

At the start of chapter five, Billy Pilgrim is on Tralfamadore. This is a new experience for him. BP notices that, instead of stars, the Trallie sky is full of luminous spaghetti. Some speculate that this is the origin of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

BP asks for something to read. The only thing available was Valley of the Dolls, by Jacqueline Susann. This is a trashy book that was popular when SF was being written. 11 pages later, BP is a POW camp hospital. There, the only book for him is The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane. It is about the horrors of war. TRBOC is loved by the same high school english teachers who sneer at VOTD. The soldiers in TRBOC would have enjoyed the drugs available in VOTD.

The neat thing about time travel is you keep moving around. Soon, young BP is with his parents. They are on a ledge in the Grand Canyon. Someone asks the guide if anyone ever kills them self by jumping into the canyon. The guide says they have about three jumpers a year. SIG037.

Soon, BP is back in the war. His uniform was been deloused, and all the little critters in it are dead. SIG038. After the uniform is put on, BP goes to a German official, he writes the name “Billy Pilgrim” in a ledger book. At this point, BP is no longer MIA, but is elevated to POW status. SIG039.

The next step in the process is giving BP a dog tag. It was made by a Polish laborer, who was dead now. SIG040. The dog tag has a split in the middle. When the POW dies, the tag is split in two. One half will identify the grave. This is what happened to Edgar Derby. SIG041.

The Amerikan POW were ushered into a shed with British POW. The Yanks were enthusiastically greeted by British POW. The limeys had been captive since Dunkirk, and were having a fine time during the war. The Amerikans were greeted with rodomontades, a form of jollyoldchap speech, and given soap. Nobody officially knew what the soap was made of. SIG042.

At some point BP began to spazz out. He was taken to the six bed hospital, shot up with morphine, and given “The Red Badge of Courage.” Edgar Derby came in to look over him. SIG043.

Before long, BP was on the road again, or whatever thoroughfare you use when time traveling. The scene was the mental ward of a VA hospital. It was 1948. BP thought he was losing his mind. The mental state of BP may, or may not, have been improved by his nuthouse roommate, Eliot Rosewater, the star of a later KV novel, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.

Mr. Rosewater is another curious character. He is a science fiction fan, and introduces BP to Kilgore Trout. This is another recurring character in KV stories. Mr. Trout is a resident of Ilium NY, and might be a member of the Iliumnati.

Both BP and Mr. Rosewater enjoyed negative attitudes. They came by them honestly. Mr. Rosewater shot a 14 year old, thinking he was a German soldier. SIG044. A Trallie would say not to worry, that the young man would have been a soldier if he had lived. As for BP, he was in an underground building when Dresden was eliminated. SIG045. In a couple of paragraphs, PG sees a dead glass of water on a table. SIG046

The dead glass of water was next to a living cigarette belonging to BP’s noname mother. Eliot Rosewater talks to her, while BP hides under the covers. We learn that Mr. Rosewater’s mother is dead, SIG047, and that BP’s father is dead, SIG048. KV says it is a chat between a “dumb, praying lady and the big, hollow man so full of loving echoes.”

Before long, BP is back in the POW hospital. Somebody comes in, and talks to Edgar Derby, who tells the story of his capture. Germans were tossing shells around, and lots of people got killed. SIG049. Soon, BP is back in the nuthouse. His mother is gone, and is replaced by his fiancee, Valencia Merble. The young lady is rich and fat. It will be a good, practical, move for BP to marry her. This is not the same thing as wanting to do it.

Before much longer, Edgar Rosewater talks about a book. It is an alternative version of the Jesus story, where the murder of Jesus is a bad thing because the son of G-d is well connected. SIG050. SIG051. The reaction of Valencia Merble is not recorded.

Before you can say Tralfamadore, BP is in a geodesic dome 446 quintillion miles from earth. The atmosphere outside the dome is cyanide. BP is on display, a source of amusement for the Trallies. There is a non functioning TV in the dome. Taped to the picture tube is a picture of Cowboys and Indians killing each other. SIG052. The book was written in an innocent age. Even the most enlightened author thought little about referring to Native Americans as Indians.

The dome had a refrigerator. On the door of the device was a picture of a “gay nineties” couple riding a bicycle built for two. This is another expression you don’t hear much anymore. PG did a little math, and realized that the time from 1898 to 1968 was the same amount of time as between 1945 and 2015. Seventy years just doesn’t last as long as it used to.

BP has some conversations with a Trally, which are frustrating to both parties. There is talk about reproduction, and talk about killing. This is the historic yin yang, life death, egg and sword duality.

The Trally tells BP how the universe will end. Some careless Trally has an accident. There is an experiment for flying saucer fuel, and the universe is blown up. SIG053. This is the middle point for the 106 SIG in SF. If PG misses any, he is not going to go back and look for it.

The time travel unsticks again, and BP is in the middle of his wedding night. It is the night his son, Robert, is conceived. Robert is a troubled youth. In the movie he expresses regret for his misdeeds, when BP is recovering from the plane crash. Robert goes on to be a Green Beret.

At least Robert was not in a German POW facility. BP wakes up in the hospital, and needs to piss. He finds an improvised latrine, which is in shoddy condition. Another Amerikan says that he *excreted* his brains out, without the critical detail, number one or number two. This excretionary Amerikan is KV, the author of this chronicle.

The conduct of Amerikans concerned the British and the Germans. An officer produced a document about this shoddy behavior, written by Howard Campbell. He was an Amerikan, who was working for the Germans. Mr. Campbell will hang himself, while awaiting trial after the war. SIG054. Mr. Campbell had the highest IQ of any war criminal put to death by hanging. SIG055.

Howard Campbell is the primary character in another book by KV, Mother Night. In this story the Schenectady NY native makes radio speeches for Germany, which are coded messages to the allies. He lives after the war. While Howard Campbell is notorious, he is never tried for treason. Amazon one star reviewer Roy E Pratt said “This was pointless. No real plot to it. Just a bunch of ramblings. I do not recommend it to anyone”

Some have speculated that “Mother Night” is similar to the journey of Jane Fonda. The story goes that the trip to Hanoi was made on behalf of the American government. Miss Fonda was rewarded with two Oscars, marriage to Ted Turner, and the hatred of chicken hawk patriots.

Meanwhile, back on Tralfamadore, Montana Wildhack has been installed in the dome. The idea is to create live action pornography for the entertainment, and education, of the Trallies. We soon learn why BP was chosen for this adventure. The dude has a porn star penis. Why did we learn this with Montana Wildhack, and not with Valencia Merble Pilgrim? Does BP really stand for Big Penis, with Billy Pilgrim conveniently grafted on later to appease the censors?

In the movie, Montana Wildhack was played by Valerie Perrine. Her birth name is Valerie Ritchie Perrine. If you google the name, the suggested searches include photos, measurement, imdb, and net worth. Other prominent roles for Miss Perrine include Honey, the wife of Lenny Bruce, Eve Teschmacher in Superman, and Delores Pierce in As the World Turns.

BP had a 1968 wet dream about Montana Wildhack. When he woke up, he dressed and went to work at the Ilium Optometry shop. A lady came in, with her 12 year old son. The ladies husband had been killed in Vietnam, in a fight over hill 875. SIG056. This is the end of chapter five.










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  1. […] and reconstruction of Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut. Parts one, two, three, and four have already been published. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia […]

  2. […] disposable dissertation on Slaughterhouse-Five, a novel by Kurt Vonnegut. Parts one, two, three, four, and five are available for viewing, and gentle criticism. Pictures today are from “The […]

  3. […] of Kurt Vonnegut’s anti glacier classic, Slaughterhouse-Five. Parts one, two, three, four, five, and six have already seen the light of day. This installment will cover chapters nine and […]

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