Concluding Thoughts

“It ends like this:

Poo-tee-weet?” (22)

Despite being a so called “anti-war novel”, I decided that what interested me more was the role that time played in this novel, and how it compared to its role in the real world. Specifically, the idea of the non-linearity of time.

We live in a society where these words like “efficiency” and “convenience” rule all. We struggle every day to complete as many tasks as possible in as little time as possible. I wonder if we’re so focused on the future that we’re doing anything and everything we can to get there faster.

It is now when I realize that our usual definition of time travel is very different to Vonnegut’s becoming unstuck in time in one specific matter: we most often imagine time travel as bringing our current bodies backwards or forwards in time, and there we are able to see our past or future selves. However, Billy Pilgrim does not go backwards in time to see what he once was like, he becomes his past self yet again, and becomes his future self when he travels forwards. Therefore, his time travel is limited to his own lifespan.

“If I am going to spend eternity visiting this moment and that, I’m grateful that so many of those moments are nice.” (211)

It’s not so much that we need to forget about the future, or not work hard because everything’s already written in the stars and we can’t do anything about it, but we must remember the present, because you don’t want to spend your entire life pining for the rest of your life. And if we are, in fact, one day granted the power to become unstuck in time, you don’t want keep going back to the moments that were unhappy because the anticipation of The Future made it too hard to enjoy right now. Enjoy the present; it’s a gift.

I thought it would be fitting for these last words of the novel to represent this last post.

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