Chapter 1 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Vonnegut say his breath smells like when he has been drinking?

2. What is strange about the set-up Mary O’Hare arranged for Vonnegut and her husband to talk about the war?

3. What does Vonnegut say World War II did for people?

4. Which previous occurrences of the destruction of cities does Vonnegut mention?

5. What is the only sound that disturbs the quiet following a massacre?

6. How does Vonnegut’s boss in Schenectady compare to the other veterans Vonnegut meets there?

7. How does Vonnegut describe the carp in the Hudson river?

8. Whose death sets off the first “so it goes?”

9. How many books does Vonnegut refer to reading in this chapter?

10. Why does Vonnegut say he loves Lot’s wife?

Answers
1. He says his breath smells like mustard gas and roses.

2. It is bright and uncomfortable, rather like an operating room.

3. World War II has made everyone very tough.

4. Vonnegut reads about the flattening of Dresden in 1760, as well as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

5. The only exception to the general hush is the chirping of birds.

6. Vonnegut’s boss is hostile and implies there is something wrong with him for not having been an officer in the war. The other veterans are kind men who hate war because of their experiences fighting.

7. Vonnegut says they “were as big as atomic submarines.”

8. “So it goes” is said for the first time after Vonnegut mentions the Dresden taxi driver’s mother who was burnt to ashes in the aftermath of the bombing of Dresden.

9. Vonnegut mentions five books in Chapter One.

10. Vonnegut loves Lot’s wife, because her looking back to see Sodom and Gomorrah is “so human.”