Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future
I love this man.
About a week ago, my 11th grade English III students were introduced to the world of Kurt Vonnegut, So it goes, and poor poor Billy Pilgrim lost in the land of the Tralfamadorians. After the favorable response to Beowulf I knew that I would have to choose another stellar title to keep my students engaged and eager. Could there have been a better choice than Slaughterhouse Five??? I think not.
I get so GEEKED out when I read this book; I get the literary and metaphorical chills with each passing line. And praise the almighty Lord of the Literature, the students match my enthusiasm!
To celebrate the communion of bookish bliss, I present to you the Top Ten Quotes from the first three chapters of Slaughterhouse Five. These quotes were chosen based on two factors:
1. They endured the juiciest and most engaging discussions during class.
2. My love of the language.
Top Ten Quotes from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five – Chpt 1-3 Edition
My name is Yon Yonson,
I work in Wisconsin,
I work in a lumbermill there.
The people I meet when I walk down the street,
They say, “What’s your name?”
And I say,
My name is Yon Yonson,
I work in Wisconsin…
2. And we were flown to a rest camp in France, where we were fed chocolate malted milkshakes and other rich foods until we were all covered in baby fat. Then we were sent home, and I married a pretty girl who was covered in baby fat, too.
And we had babies.
And they’re all grown up now, and I’m an old fart with his memories and his Pall Malls. My name is Yon Yonson, I work in Wisconsin, I work in a lumber mill there.
3. And I became a non-person in the Boston fog, and Lufthansa put me in a limousine with some other non-persons and sent us to a motel for a non-night.
4. Those were vile people in both those cities, as is well known. The world was better off without them. And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human.
So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes.
5. Billy has gone to sleep a senile widower and awakened on his wedding day. He has walked through a door in 1955 and come out another one in 1941. He has gone back through that door to find himself in 1963. He has seen his birth and death many times, he says, and pays random visits to all the events in between.
6. When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is ‘So it goes.’
7. Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.
8. Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future
9. Through the valley flowed a Mississippi of humiliated Americans…Billy and his group joined the river of humiliation.
10. “The dog, who had sounded so ferocious in the winter distances…Her name was Princess”