Slaughterhouse-Five

by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

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Chapter 6 Summary

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Billy wakes up in the prison hospital in Germany. Paul Lazzaro is also there and says that he is going to have the man who injured him killed after the war is over. He thinks revenge is “the sweetest thing there is” and says that he always gets even with anyone who crosses him. He once killed a dog that had bitten him by feeding it a steak which contained ground-up pieces of a clock spring, as sharp as razor-blades. However, he disapproves of the bombing of Dresden, because he never harms innocent bystanders. He announces that he will ensure Billy is shot, because he promised Roland Weary that he would kill him. Since Billy travels in time, he knows that he will in fact be shot on 13 February 1976.

The American prisoners hold an election and choose Edgar Derby as their leader, though few of them care about this, and many are asleep. They are taken by rail to Dresden, a city which one of the Englishmen tells them is not a target for bombs, since no weapons are manufactured there. When they arrive in the city, they are amazed by how beautiful it is. However, Billy, through his time-traveling, knows that it will soon be destroyed by bombs and that most of the people watching him will be dead in a month. The prisoners are housed in a building called Schlachthöf-funf: Slaughterhouse-Five.

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