This chapter is the second to last, obviously. Soon, we will come to the end of this book. Wow. But anyway, let’s dive into the chapter. It starts off rather sad. The first sentence of this chapter is literally about how Valencia, Billy Pilgrim’s wife, died. She got into a car crash and was rushing to see Billy at the hospital. It stated that she was “…unconscious, overcome by carbon monoxide. She was a heavenly azure. One hour later she died. So it goes” (page 234). Wow, what a great way to start off the chapter. This information alone shows me how much she loved Billy. Imagine going to check on someone after you get into a car crash. That’s honestly real and unconditional love. The love that Valencia had for Billy that Billy hadn’t had for her. In the next page, we learn about this Rumfoord person Billy shares a room with. And let me tell you, he’s a lot. For one, I don’t like how he antagonizes Billy. He looks at Billy like most people look at Billy, and it’s annoying. Secondly, he’s seventy-two dating a twenty-three. That’s in total for 47 years apart. I guess Lily, his wife, views him as a sugar daddy. Who knows?
As we move along in the chapter, I learn something about Billy that I didn’t really pay much attention to: He makes very impulsive decisions. Like for instance, he would go into other places of his house and have his family scared. In the chapter, he just up and went to New York without saying anything. Boy, does he sure just act off his impulses. His mental illnesses probably play a role into that, though. He also made a similar comment his mom made about being old. It’s like they were both in disbelief about being old. On the contrary, his mom was confused about being, and he just didn’t think being old would be like it is. It reminds me of how children want to be older because of freedom until they realize that the freedom is almost nonexistent. Being an adult feels like being in a constant battle of health problems, bills, and uncertainty. In a lot of ways, we live like the Tralfamadorians. We just live life. What saddens me about Billy though, was the fact that he really wasn’t happy. His happiest moment was his ” sundrenched snooze in the back of a wagon”(page 249). The fact that he would rather have been in a wagon in war than out of war says a lot.
In the last part of the chapter, something sparked another thought I’ve always had. In the wagon, Billy and the other Americans got stopped by Russians. They scolded him on how the horse looked. The were shocked at how the Americans had treated the horse or in their words, their form of transportation. Boy, wait till they see how America treats its people. It reminded me of how businesses treat their employees. The employees are the malnourished, broken, dehydrated horse. The Americans are the businesses. It’s like businesses have little to no regard to how their behaviors affect their employees. As long as they produce the desired result, it doesn’t matter how they feel. However, when Billy noticed how the horse looked once the Russians pointed it out. He cried. I don’t know whether he cried because PTSD or because the horse was in bad condition, and it reminded him of how he is. Either way, each reason is valid and worth crying about.
Lastly, the end of the chapter is weird yet satisfying. Billy is in New York and goes to this bookstore. It’s kind of like Spencer’s in a way with its graphic content. The bookstore had Mr. Trout’s books in it. The book that Billy picked up by him was basically very similar to Billy and Montana’s situation on how they ended up on Tralfamadore. It’s odd yet fascinating. The other book was about a man traveling to see if Jesus really died on the cross. It’s like a nonbeliever’s way of getting the facts about Christianity. Billy purchased this book to support Trout. I also think maybe he also got it because he wasn’t really a religious person. Both could be true, honestly. This bookstore also had the picture of a Shetland pony and a woman having sex. This was the same picture that they had on Tralfamadore if I’m not mistaken. Coincidence? Maybe or maybe not. He goes on the radio to talk about time and gets moved out of the radio station. Wow, what a shocker. At the very end, he’s back on Tralfamadore. Montana’s breastfeeding their baby. Part of this still sounds like his fantasy rather than time. But anyway, Montana had this necklace with the same quote as the picture above. That’s when I knew, that I had to make this the picture of this chapter. It’s a beautiful yet pure saying.