Slaughterhouse-Five Timeline Project - Chloe Lawson

Timeline created by clawson2001
  • Billy Pilgrim's Birth

    Billy Pilgrim's Birth
    Billy Pilgrim was born in Ilium, New York in 1922, the only child of a barber there. His birth is significant, as the story discusses much of his life experiences. The inclusion of Billy's birth year holds significance because it is the beginning of the establishment of the incoherent structure of time that the author uses to help the reader conclude that the novel is referencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Billy's First Time "Unstuck"

    Billy's First Time "Unstuck"
    Billy first became unstuck in time during World War II (WWII) in 1944. Billy, a chaplain's assistant, became dazed and separated from his unit. He joined Roland Weary and two scouts after witnessing the Battle of the Bulge and some of the horrors of WWII. Billy stopped in the forest later and leaned against a tree. He closed his eyes and "traveled" for the first time. His mind was trying to escape (PTSD). One place he went to was the Ilium Y.M.C.A. This illustrated war as a negative thing.
  • The Dresden Bombing (WWII)

    The Dresden Bombing (WWII)
    Billy was down in the meat locker on the night Dresden was destroyed with the other Americans and four of their guards (This occurred February 13th, 1945.). The devastation reminded him of the moon. Billy remembering this event after realizing the quartet at his wedding anniversary upset him so much because they looked like the four guards, and him referencing Tralfamadore right after, highlighted the effects of war once again. He started to realize he may have issues after that realization.
  • Two Days Later (After Bombing)

    Two Days Later (After Bombing)
    Two days after the bombing, Billy was ordered to work by the Germans. He and another digger, a Maori, dug into the ground for the bodies after Dresden. "The Maori Billy had worked with died of the dry heaves, after having been ordered to go down in that stink and work. He tore himself to pieces, throwing up and throwing up." He died near rotting corpses, while hurling. This event in particular about the bodies and holes is gruesome, and the author uses this to show the atrocities of war.
  • World War II's End (Europe)

    World War II's End (Europe)
    When World War II ended in Europe, Billy & the others wandered to see a green, coffin-shaped wagon with 2 injured horses. Billy was comfortable in this wagon. The book ended with the birds saying to Billy, "Poo-tee-weet?" This event is important because the author does this to show that there is nothing intelligent to say about war. The question is also unanswerable. There's no answer to how such an atrocity could happen.
  • Billy's Honorable Discharge

    Billy's Honorable Discharge
    Billy Pilgrim received an honorable discharge from the Army in 1945. After this event, Billy experienced PTSD and the effects of war. The author's showing of Billy's life after war (as jumbled as the events were presented), and how it still involved war, is telling to the reader. (The specific month and date are estimated.)
  • The Veterans' Hospital

    The Veterans' Hospital
    Billy stayed at a ward for nonviolent mental patients in a veterans' hospital near Lake Placid, New York (by choice). It was springtime in 1948, 3 years after the end of the war. Billy stayed here and connected with Eliot Rosewater. "...he and Billy were dealing with similar crises in similar ways. They had both found life meaningless, partly because of what they had seen in war." This event is significant in that it showed that the "manly men" fighting these wars oftentimes end up traumatized.
  • Tralfamadore

    Billy was supposedly kidnapped by a flying saucer & the Tralfamadorians in 1967. Here, he was displayed naked in a zoo with Montana Wildhack (when she arrives later). The Tralfamadorians were 2 feet high, green, & thought events through time were unchangeable. He jumped back to the kidnapping (the night of his daughter's wedding) while on the train to the prison camp. The conditions were bad, & his travel to the planet was a coping mechanism. The author wrote it to shine a negative light on war.
  • The Airplane Crash (Sugarbush Mountain)

    The Airplane Crash (Sugarbush Mountain)
    Early in 1968, Billy and a group of other optometrists chartered an airplane to fly them from Ilium to an international convention of optometrists in Montreal. The plane crashed on top of Sugarbush Mountain in Vermont. Everyone died but Billy. He had a fractured skull. This was yet another traumatic event Billy had to cope with. He "traveled" to the slaughterhouse in Dresden. The crash, with the German-speaking golliwogs and their bright and loud clothing, reminded him of World War II (trigger).
  • Billy's Death

    Billy's Death
    Billy died on the 13th of February in 1976. This date is significant because it is the same date as the Dresden bombing. He died talking about the Tralfamadorian's concept of time in front of a Chicago crowd. Billy's forehead became marked by a high-powered laser gun. It was aimed at him from the darkened press box. In the next moment, Billy Pilgrim was dead. He said that Paul Lazzaro was going to keep his promise to kill him, and then Billy died. Again, this event only shows war negatively.
  • Period: to

    The Book's Timespan

    The Book's Timespan:
    (Billy's birth was the earliest event, and the latest event was his death.)