Please use this thread to discuss the above chapter of Slaughterhouse-Five.
In total there are 4 users online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 4 guests (based on users active over the past 60 minutes)
Most users ever online was 906 on Thu Jul 07, 2022 7:52 pm
What are flashbacks?
A flashback is a vivid experience in which you relive some aspects of a traumatic event or feel as if it is happening right now. This can sometimes be like watching a video of what happened, but flashbacks do not necessarily involve seeing images, or reliving events from start to finish. You might experience any of the following:
seeing full or partial images of what happened
noticing sounds, smells or tastes connected to the trauma
feeling physical sensations, such as pain or pressure
experiencing emotions that you felt during the trauma.
You might notice that particular places, people or situations can trigger a flashback for you, which could be due to them reminding you of the trauma in some way. Or you might find that flashbacks seem to happen at random. Flashbacks can last for just a few seconds, or continue for several hours or even days.
You can read some tips on how to cope with flashbacks on our page on self-care for PTSD.
I feel like I'm straddling a timeline where the past is pulling me in one direction and the present another. I see flashes of images and noises burst through, fear comes out of nowhere. My heart races, my breathing is loud and I no longer know where I am.
Hi Harry, Tralfamadore is not meant to be taken seriously. It is carefully designed to be as extremely absurd as possible. The parable is that perhaps reality is quite different from our perceptions. That general principle is meant to be taken seriously. For example, we may perceive that the bombing of Dresden was a righteous and just exercise of revenge against the evil Nazis. Vonnegut’s perspective, having lived through the bombing, sees this exultation in revenge as entirely wrong. And yet for some, any criticism of the Allied war effort amounts to treason and Nazi apology. When two perspectives are in such conflict, they can be illustrated by the question of whether we are certain that Billy Pilgrim’s insane ideas are just the result of brain damage, as his daughter assumes.
That opens Nietzsche’s famous theme of the eternal return of the same. My view is that this is best explained as a parable for the precession of the equinox, the idea that time rhymes based on physical patterns. But that is generally seen as a form of Tralfamadorian crankiness, excluded on principle by dominant cultural assumptions.Harry Marks wrote: ↑Fri Nov 11, 2022 6:33 pm The most respectable version, to me, has history repeating itself ridiculously often. Even though we have been through X before, we repeat the doomed experiment in hopes of a better outcome. Why fight it? Ignorance and greed will always win out over foresight and prudence. Man butchers man, until things reverse and the opposite happens.
More than just prognostication about science and technology, science fiction has the capacity to present cultural commentary and satire. The Tralfamadore story is a satire of the reaction to conformist assumptions, with the suspended disbelief in whether this bizarre story might be really true, similar to what you say about Cat’s Cradle.Harry Marks wrote: ↑Fri Nov 11, 2022 6:33 pm
But in a way I admire Vonnegut's use of it. Science fiction is supposed to give us interesting implications of prognostication about scientific developments. KVJ (whose birthday today would have been his 100th) had already been nominated for Hugo Awards twice. His "Cat's Cradle" used the apparatus rather differently, as a way to bring in social perspectives and alternative psychological insights. I don't take it seriously, but I like the way he introduces ideas that I do take seriously through backdoor representations.
Kurt Vonnegut wrote:When Billy finally got home to Ilium after the airplane crash, he was quiet for a while. He had a terrible scar across the top of his skull. He didn't resume practice. He had a housekeeper. His daughter came over almost every day. And then, without any warning, Billy went to New York City, and got on an all-night radio program devoted to talk. He told about having come unstuck in time. He said, too, that he had been kidnapped by a flying saucer in 1967. The saucer was from the planet Tralfamadore, he said. He was taken to Tralfamadore, where he was displayed naked in a zoo, he said. He was mated there with a former Earthling movie star named Montana Wildhack. Some night owls in Ilium heard Billy on the radio, and one of them called Billy's daughter Barbara. Barbara was upset. She and her husband went down to New York and brought Billy home. Billy insisted mildly that everything he had said on the radio was true. He said he had been kidnapped by the Tralfamadorians on the night of his daughter's wedding. He hadn't been missed, he said, because the Tralfamadorians had taken him through a time warp, so that he could be on Tralfamadore for years, and still be away from Earth for only a microsecond. Another month went by without incident, and then Billy wrote a letter to the Ilium News Leader, which the paper published. It described the creatures from Tralfamadore. The letter said that they were two feet high, and green., and shaped like plumber's friends. Their suction cups were on the ground, and their shafts, which were extremely flexible, usually pointed to the sky. At the top of each shaft was a little hand with a green eye in its palm. The creatures were friendly, and they could see in four dimensions.
As a part of a gun crew, Weary had helped to fire one shot in anger-from a 57-millimeter antitank gun. The gun made a ripping sound like the opening of a zipper on the fly of God Almighty. The gun lapped up snow and vegetation with a blowtorch feet long. The flame left a black arrow on the ground, showing the Germans exactly where the gun was hidden. The shot was a miss.
What had been missed was a Tiger tank. It swiveled its 88-millimeter snout around sniffingly, saw the arrow on the ground. It fired. It killed everybody on the gun crew but Weary. So it goes.