What are some of the destructions of war and destructive forces explored in Slaughterhouse-Five?
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The mechanized nature of warfare is discussed and emphasized on a number of occasions. One case in point comes when Billy views the war films in reverse.
"The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes.… The steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals … [which] were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again."
In addition to this scene of mechanized warfare, the atomic bomb is discussed in the text. The most prominent "destructive force" or element of destruction in the text is the Dresden fire bombing.
This event is discussed repeatedly throughout the novel, beginning in the opening chapter. The novel ends just after the bombing has taken place. At this point the narrative has made clear just how destructive this event was, killing over 100,000 people in a single night.
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