Slaughterhouse-Five Quotes

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Slaughterhouse-Five Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
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Slaughterhouse-Five Quotes (showing 1-30 of 482)
“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“And so it goes...”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“How nice -- to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“And Lot's wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“I have this disease late at night sometimes, involving alcohol and the telephone.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“All this happened, more or less.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, 'It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.' It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: 'if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?' There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.

Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“- Why me?
- That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr. Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber?
- Yes.
- Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to always tell the difference.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“That's one thing Earthlings might learn to do, if they tried hard enough: Ignore the awful times and concentrate on the good ones.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“She was a dull person, but a sensational invitation to make babies.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“Trout, incidentally, had written a book about a money tree. It had twenty-dollar bills for leaves. Its flowers were government bonds. Its fruit was diamonds. It attracted human beings who killed each other around the roots and made very good fertilizer.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“I think you guys are going to have to come up with a lot of wonderful new lies, or people just aren't going to want to go on living.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“People aren’t supposed to look back. I’m certainly not going to do it anymore.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“It is just an illusion here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone, it is gone forever.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“The letter said that they were two feet high, and green., and shaped like plumber's friends. Their suction cups were on the ground, and their shafts, which were extremely flexible, usually pointed to the sky. At the top of each shaft was a little hand with a green eye in its palm. The creatures were friendly, and they could see in four dimensions. They pitied Earthlings for being able to see only three. They had many wonderful things to teach Earthlings, especially about time. Billy promised to tell what some of those wonderful things were in his next letter.
Billy was working on his second letter when the first letter was published. The second letter started out like this:
The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "so it goes.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“It was a movie about American bombers in World War II and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this: American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.
The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. 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 containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans though and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new.
When the bombers got back to their base, 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. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals 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. The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“There is one other book, that can teach you everything you need to know about life... it's The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but that's not enough anymore.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“If I am going to spend eternity visiting this moment and that, I'm grateful that so many of those moments are nice.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“It was very exciting for her, taking his dignity away in the name of love.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. Everybody is supposed to be dead, to never say anything or want anything ever again. Everything is supposed to be very quiet after a massacre, and it always is, except for the birds. And what do the birds say? All there is to say about a massacre, things like "Poo-tee-weet?”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“Everything is nothing, with a twist.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I've said before, bugs in amber.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five
“When everything was beautiful and nothing hurt...”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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