3 Essential Questions… Answered?

In conclusion…

Is time linear?

Maybe- just because we can’t see the fourth dimension doesn’t mean it’s not there. At the same time, it’s in our nature to need to see proof to convert our thinking from what “might be” to what is.

“each clump of symbols [describes] a situation, a scene. We Tralfamadorians read them all at once, not one after the other … There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time” (88)

A book has an entire history already written in it; everything that has happened happened and there’s nothing we can do to change it. We just choose to read it in a linear fashion.

How much does time dictate our lives in comparison to the characters in the novel?

“[Time] simply is. Take it moment by moment … here we are … There is no why” (77)

We care too much about it, I found, or is it that they don’t care enough? Either way, we spend too much time thinking about how much we have left, though ironically, the life span of humans now is longer than it used to be. Or is that why those people are better at living in the moment? Because the future was so unknown with all the war that they took what they got and didn’t ask questions.

How might we be able to become unstuck in time in our own way?

We could see flashbacks as becoming “unstuck”, where for a moment we feel as if we’re right back where we once were. Perhaps dreaming may provide the realest feeling – which some might argue is the most important part – although most often what occurs in dreams is make-believe. Or it could simply be not allowing time to control our lives, the ability to stop planting land marks in different periods of our lives where we think they should go.

“Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future” (60)

Like Billy Pilgrim, we cannot change the past, but I like to think we have a say in where our future is going, that we have the power to alter it at least. And like most humans, I’m still skeptical about the idea of time not being linear, I let time control me much too often, and I have trouble becoming unstuck. Perhaps we all need a bit of a lesson from the Tralfamadorians themselves. Maybe then it’ll be easier to believe.


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