This book was one of the greatest books I have ever read. It’s true that if you’re looking for an anti-war book, this would be the perfect book for you. The book has an amazing analysis of how war affects people. With Billy being stuck in and out of time, his random weeping, and his triggering PTSD, how can this not change your mind about war? Of course, this book may be sort of sensitive or hard for someone who’s pro-military or extremely patriotic. They might take it as an attack on them personally. In my most humble opinion, you probably should.
The book kind of tackles the idea of why war shouldn’t be glorified. It talks about the grotesque realization of war. Like for instance, the prisoners of war were using soap made out of human flesh. The fact that they have seen so many dead bodies and dig up dead bodies is scary. Not being able to explain what happened to their own family because it can be too triggering is scary. The fact that some of them have so many mental illnesses that they aren’t even aware of where they are, what time is it, or what year is it is scary. It should bother you that that’s the reality of a lot of veterans and active duty soldiers. It should bother you that they have seen that much death. The most important thing that should bother you is the fact that we as humans result to killing each other of issues that could be solved by talking to each other. Now that my friend, should really bother you. The fact that we even glorify that as something to be proud of is sickening. How can we advocate for our kids to resolve conflict peacefully if we advocate for war?
In all honesty, I don’t think I would ever fight in a war. It’s just not in me to have to kill innocent people. That would haunt me for the rest of my life. I’m pretty sure it haunts the many veterans and soldiers today. The only thing I can say that is honestly different about soldiers now than back then is the support for mental health issues. One thing I disliked in the book was how they treated Billy after the war. His friends, family, everyone treated him like a raging lunatic. Now, part of me understands why they did it. Back in the 40s-60s, mental health wasn’t really a great talking point. Most people back then lacked the range to even understand or debate about it. Many of them assumed mentally ill people were crazy and just through them in jail. Nobody ever stopped to understand why they may have been like that. Nobody even tried to get them help. It amazes me to how ignorant people were about mental illnesses then. Once again, I have to keep in mind this was in the 40s-60s.
Anyway, back to Billy. Billy was just treated like a lunatic. His kids treated him like a child, especially his daughter. It kind of infuriated me. How dare you do your father like that? This also reminds, however, how times have truly changed. Mental illnesses nowadays aren’t treated like that. People have support groups and hotlines to call for those issues. In some states, they’re even offering to teach mental health courses in class! How amazing is that? Yet still, we have a lot of work to do in this society. A lot of the attitudes in the book towards Billy or even war in general, still are prevalent in our society. We must change that.
Lastly, one thing I will say about the book is that it is different. It’s different in a good way. The book itself seem to tell the story backwards in my opinion. As you all know, it started off with Billy speaking about how he went to modern-day Dresden with O’Hare. He met this man who talked to them about Dresden and his life. I remember him saying that he hopes to live in a world full of peace. Then in the last chapter, it jumps back to explaining the trip they took. It was amazing to me how well chapter one matched with chapter ten. It’s like all the missing pieces in the first chapter were put together in chapter ten.
When you read chapter ten, you’re like “wow, how come I didn’t think of this to begin with?” The book is just so full of twists and drastic changes that it can be hard to even focus on one part. I honestly think I can say that chapters one, nine, and ten might have been my favorite. This book was really an interesting read. For it to be fiction, it can trigger lots of emotions. I guess it makes sense considering Kurt Vonnegut, which is the author, wrote a lot of this about his life in the book. He has a brilliant mind, and I hope this book will be read by many others.
Even though I said lastly in the last block, I wanted to say thanks to those who have actually read my blog. I appreciate anyone who has stopped by and enjoyed reading it. I want to specifically thank Dr. Ferguson (my teacher) for assigning me this book to read and type on a blog. At first, I thought this blog was going to be a disaster. My first two posts were terrible, and I thought it was doomed. However, once I got into the book more, it was easier for me to express how I felt about this book. It became as easy as breathing. I honestly would redo this assignment over again on a different book. Sadly, we have come to an end of this phase and blog. Once again, thanks to any and everyone who looked at my blog. I appreciate the support or even the lack of support. This was a great experience and learning lesson. Hopefully, you guys could see me writing on another blog in the future. This has been fun. The End.