Senior Honorable Mention
Modern World Fiction
Dr. Dan Gleason
Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time. Billy has gone to sleep a senile widower and awakened on his wedding day. He has walked through a door in 1955 and come out another one in 1941. He has gone back through that door to find himself in 1963. He has seen his death and birth many times, he says, and pays random visits to all the events in between. (Slaughterhouse-Five, pg 23)
Kurt Vonnegut has long been respected as a master of the written word. In this passage, he uses a specific tense, repetition, and clause arrangement to portray the simultaneous calm and chaos of the life of the main character, Billy Pilgrim, and his experiences while shifting through time.
Zaretsky, Elizabeth '10, "Listen: A Close Reading of Vonnegut" (2009). 2009 Fall Semester. 1.