Throughout the novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut frames the book with autobiographical references to portray his dislike and hatred of the war. Billy Pilgrim, the main character in the book, goes through many events in his life. From the bombing of Dresden to shock therapy, Vonnegut expresses his beliefs/feelings toward a situation through Billy and other characters. As the story unfolds and areas uncovered, Vonnegut shows his empathy towards each death. With the saying, So it goes, he shows his feelings of a character s death. The Germans carried the corpse out. The corpse was Wild Bob (69). When Wild Bob dies, Vonnegut shows his sadness through Billy. Even though the phrase changes throughout the novel, it still expresses his emotions, subtle as they might be. In another part of the story, Edgar Derby makes a heroic speech when confronted by the American Nazi, Campbell. After being offered freedom to fight the Russians, Derby starts talking of how America is so great. Derby spoke movingly of the American form of government, with freedom and justice and opportunities and fair play for all. He said there wasn t a man there who wouldn t gladly die for those ideals. (164). . . Vonnegut had probably inserted this to show his nationalism towards America. Of all the other lines in the book, Vonnegut had made this the most heroic speech in the book. He shows his pride and nationalism towards United States.
Last but not least, the reaction of the Dresden bombing could be seen in the faces of both Billy and Vonnegut. After the bombing, when all the prisoners come out, everyone, including Billy had some emotion. The whole streets were black with rubble and dirt. Vonnegut expresses his feelings through the prisoners and the Nazi guards themselves. He describes their expressions when they see the aftermath of the bombing. There was a fire-storm out there. Dresden was one big flame. The one flame ate everything organic, everything that would burn (178). Each expression is a feeling that Vonnegut has when he thinks of the bombing. Through many parts of the book, Vonnegut expresses his feelings towards many different subjects. From death to pride to death, Vonnegut uses Billy as his main cover to show his emotions. Even though some of his feelings might be astute, they all show his opinion towards a particular event.