Chapter 8 Questions and Answers
1. What detail about the hog barn shows how intense the firestorm that engulfed Dresden must have been?
2. What is Campbell’s final argument in favor of fighting the Russians?
3. Who does Barbara blame for Billy’s problems?
4. How does Trout’s book “The Gutless Wonder” recall Billy’s son, Robert?
5. Why does the narrator claim there are few to no characters in this story?
6. How did the troop of Americans come to have only four guards?
7. What episode immediately follows Billy’s recollection of the painful memory of Dresden?
8. How does Billy’s response to the barbershop quartet reflect a conversation he had with Valencia on their wedding night?
9. How is Billy’s survival given a further component of randomness on the march to the inn?
10. What is odd about the innkeeper’s kindness to the American prisoners?
1. The fire was hot enough to leave “dollops of melted glass” on the ground.
2. He says that the Americans are going to have to fight the Communists “sooner or later.”
3. Barbara blames Kilgore Trout.
4. Billy’s son is a Green Beret in Vietnam, presumably dropping jellied gasoline on people or committing some similar atrocities.
5. There are few characters in the book because the characters in it are “so sick and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces.” This, the narrative adds, is one of the main effects of war.
6. The others left to be with their families.
7. Billy’s memory of Dresden directly precedes a scene in the zoo with Montana.
8. Valencia had said to Billy that she thought he was full of secrets, which he denied. Now he discovers that he has been keeping secrets, but he can’t remember what they are.
9. Billy’s group nearly misses being shot by American fighting planes out “mopping up.”
10. Given that the Allies have just destroyed Dresden and all of the people in it, it might have been more appropriate for the innkeeper to abuse the men instead of giving them food and a place to stay.