In this essay, I am going to discuss the way in which Kurt Vonnegut uses the character of Billy Pilgrim to express his desolation regarding the events in Dresden during the second world war. My objective is to be able to explore Vonnegut's style, the meanings of his irony's and the use of the language of Vonnegut's best achievement, Slaughterhouse Five or The Children's crusade. It is a very personal novel which draws upon Vonnegut's own experience in the war, where he was an advance scout with an Infantry Division, a prisoner of war and a witness to the fire-bombing of Dresden on 1945. It is a novel about war, about the cruelty and violence done in war, about people and their nature, their selfishness, about love, humanity, regeneration, motion, and death.
In the first place, the author's views on death are expressed in almost every page of the book, since the bombing of Dresden had a profound impact on the life and writing of him. 135,000 people died in the ruins of Dresden, which means that it was the greatest man-caused massacre of all times. In the book, Vonnegut deals with death as it is something too important to ignore, but yet nothing to fear of. There is an expression that appears several times, `so it goes', that becomes visible after death is mentioned, which is something Tralfamadorians tough Billy when he was kidnapped by a flying saucer (" When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a 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' -). .
In second place, irony and satire (or often very dark humor) is one of Vonnegut's most common style to represent this disturbing and unanswerable question for him of why man destroys and kills ("On the ninth day, the hobo died.