'Slaughterhouse-Five' Quotes

Kurt Vonnegut's Novel

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Frank Smith FrnkSmth/ Flickr CC

Slaughterhouse-Five is an anti-war novel, by Kurt Vonnegut. The work was first published in 1969, and it's considered an American classic. Semi-autobiographical in nature, the novel is drawn from the Vonnegut's war-time experiences in World War II. As a prisoner of war, Vonnegut survived the American bombing of Dresden, Germany. 

Slaughterhouse-Five Quotes

"And even if the wars didn't keep coming like glaciers, there would still be plain old death."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 1

"As a trafficker in climaxes and thrills and characterization and wonderful dialogue and suspense and confrontations, I had outlined the Dresden story many times."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 1

"At that time, they were teaching that there was absolutely no difference between anybody. They may be teaching that still."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 1

"The nicest veterans in Schenectady, I thought, the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who'd really fought."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 1

"We went to the New York World's Fair, saw what the past had been like, according to the Ford Motor Car Company and Walt Disney, saw what the future would be like, according to General Motors. And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 1

"He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 2

"All this responsibility at such an early age made her a bitchy flibbertigibbet."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 2

"They crawled into a forest like the big, unlucky mammals they were."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 2

"It is, in the imagination of combat's fans, the divinely listless loveplay that follows the orgasm of victory. It is called 'mopping up.'"
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 3

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to always tell the difference."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 3

"The legs of those who stood were like fence posts driven into a warm, squirming, farting, sighing earth. The queer earth was a mosaic of sleepers who nestled like spoons."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 3

"I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 4

"My God--what have they done to you, lad? This isn't a man. It's a broken kite."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 5

"So they were trying to re-invent themselves and their universe... Science fiction was a big help."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 5

"And on and on it went that duet between the dumb, praying lady and the big, hollow man who was so full of loving echoes."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 5

"The skyline was intricate and voluptuous and enchanted and absurd. It looked like a Sunday school picture of Heaven to Billy Pilgrim."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 6

"In my prison cell I sit,/ With my britches full of shit,/ And my balls are bouncing gently on the floor./ And I see the bloody snag/ When she bit me in the bag./ Oh I'll never fuck a Polack any more."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 7

"There are no characters in this story and almost no dramatic confrontations because most of the people in it are so sick and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters.

But old Derby was a character now."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 8

"Rumfoord was thinking in in military manner: that an inconvenient person, one whose death he wished for very much, for practical reasons, was suffering from a repulsive disease."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 9

"The cattle are lowing,/ The Baby awakes./ But the little Lord Jesus/ No crying he makes."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 9

"Everything is all right, and everybody has to do exactly what he does."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 9

"If what Billy Pilgrim learned from the Tralfamadorians is true, that we will all live forever, no matter how dead we may sometimes seem to be, I am not overjoyed. Still--if I am going to spend eternity visiting this moment and that, I'm grateful that so many of those moments are nice."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 10

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Lombardi, Esther. "'Slaughterhouse-Five' Quotes." ThoughtCo, Jul. 30, 2017, thoughtco.com/slaughterhouse-five-quotes-741444. Lombardi, Esther. (2017, July 30). 'Slaughterhouse-Five' Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/slaughterhouse-five-quotes-741444 Lombardi, Esther. "'Slaughterhouse-Five' Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/slaughterhouse-five-quotes-741444 (accessed November 19, 2017).