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Week 3: Reading questions

Chapter Five

Billy continues to move in time between World War II, Tralfamadore, his time in the psychiatric ward of a veterans’ hospital, and his marriage.
Identify vocabulary —rodomontades
Identify characters — Eliot Rosewater, Kilgore Trout, Valencia Merble, Mr. and Mrs.
Lance Rumfoord, Howard W. Campbell, Jr., Professor Bertram
Copeland Rumfoord
1.What does the way Tralfamadorians view the universe and Earthlings tell us about their concept of time?
2.Is there a similarity between the format of Vonnegut’s novel and the description of Tralfamadorian novels? Explain.
3.Describe the English POWs that Billy and the Americans encounter.
4.What was the main ingredient of the candles and soap used at the welcoming dinner for the American POWs?
5.Why do the British POWs send Billy to the hospital shed?
6.What is Billy introduced to in the veterans’ hospital?
7.Why does science fiction appeal to Billy and Rosewater?
8.Why is Billy upset by his mother?
9.In his novel, The Gospel from Outer Space, what does Kilgore Trout say is the message of the gospels? How do the aliens change that message?
10.Describe Billy’s habitat in the Tralfamadorian zoo.
11.What do the Tralfamadorians suggest Earthlings should learn to do?
12.What epitaph does Billy think of on his wedding night?
13.What does Campbell write about American POWs in Germany?
14.Why does the widowed mother think Billy is “going crazy”?

Chapter Six


Billy and the other American POWs are transferred to Dresden as contract labor. Billy describes his own death.
1.What is the source of the animal magnetism Billy feels in the prison hospital shed?
2.What does Lazzaro say is the sweetest thing in life? What story does he tell to prove his point?
3.What advice does Lazzaro give Billy?
4.How does Billy die?
5.What positive attributes of Dresden does the Englishman share with the American POWs?
6.How is Edgar Derby elected head American?
7.To what does the author compare his first view of Dresden?
8.Describe the Americans’ arrival in Dresden.
9.Describe the Americans’ “home away from home.”

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