Slaughterhouse-Five Questions and Answers
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

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Describe the car that houses the railroad guards.

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The car that houses the railroad guards is described as being "like heaven" and "heaven on wheels." When Billy Pilgrim sees inside their car, he sees "bunks with quilts and blankets heaped on them" and a stove with a pot of coffee steaming on top of it. He also describes a table "with a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread and a sausage on it." On the table there are also bowls of soup, one for each of the guards. On the walls, Billy sees scenic pictures "of castles and lakes" and other photos of attractive women. All of this impresses Billy so much that he is said to be "enchanted."

The cozy conditions of the railroad guards's car are emphasized in contrast to the squalid, crowded conditions of the other cars, where the prisoners, including Billy, must stay. In these other cars, the men are crammed in so that they are always on top of one another. They have no bathroom facilities and are forced to use steel helmets instead, which they must then pass to other men who will empty the contents through the same ventilators that their food is passed in through. The men in these other cars, in short, are treated like, or in fact worse than, animals.

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