Рефераты. American Literature books summary

has split into twenty tiny nations. Billy will be lecturing in Chicago on

the Trafalmadorian concept of time and the fourth dimension. He tells the

spectators that he is about to die, and urges them to accept it. After the

lecture, he is shot in the head by a high-powered laser gun.

Back in the POW camp, Billy, Derby, and Lazarro go the theater to elect a

leader. On the way over, they see a Brit drawing a line in the dirt to

separate the American and British sections of the compound. In the theater,

Americans are sleeping anywhere that they can. A Brit lectures them on

hygiene, and Edgar Derby is elected leader. Only two or three men actually

have the energy to vote. Billy dresses himself in a piece of azure curtain

and Cinderella's boots. The Americans ride the train to Dresden. Dresden is

a beautiful city, appearing on the horizon like something out of a fairy

tale. They are met by eight German irregulars, boys and old men who will be

in charge of them for the rest of the war. They march through town towards

their new home. The people of Dresden watch them, and most of them are

amused by Billy's outlandish costume. One surgeon is not. He scolds Billy

about dignity and representing his country and war not being a joke, but

Billy is honestly perplexed by the man's anger. He shows the man his two

treasures from the lining of his coat: a two-carat diamond and some false

teeth. The Americans are brought to their new home, a converted building

originally for the slaughter of pigs. The building has a large 5 on it. The

POWs are taught the German name for their new home, in case they get lost

in the city. In English, it is called Slaughterhouse Five.

Chapter Seven. Summary:

Billy is on a plane next to his father-in-law. Billy and a number of

optometrists have chartered a plane to go to a convention in Montreal.

There's a barbershop quartet on board. Billy's father-in-law loves it when

they sing songs mocking the Polish. Vonnegut mentions that in Germany Billy

saw a Pole getting executed for having sex with a German girl. Billy leaps

in time to his wandering behind the German lines with the two scouts and

Roland Weary. He leaps in time again to the plane crash. Everyone dies but

him. The plane has crashed in Vermont, and Billy is found by Austrian ski

instructors. When he hears them speaking German, he thinks he's back in the

war. He is unconscious for days, and during that time he dreams about the

days right before the bombing.

He remembers a boy named Werner Gluck, one of the guards. He was good-

natured, as awkward and puny as Billy. One day, Gluck and Billy and Derby

were looking for the kitchen. Derby and Billy were pulling a two-wheeled

cart; it was their duty to bring dinner back for the boys. Gluck pulled a

door open, thinking the kitchen might be there, and instead revealed naked

teenage girls showering, refugees from another city that was bombed. The

women scream and Gluck shuts the door. When they finally find the kitchen,

an old cook talks with the trio critically and proclaims that all the real

soldiers are dead. Billy also remembers working in the malt syrup factory

in Dresden. The syrup is for pregnant women, and it is fortified with

vitamins. The POWs do everything they can to sneak spoonfuls of it. Billy

sneaks a spoonful to Edgar Derby, who is outside. He bursts into tears

after he tastes it.

Chapter Eight. Summary:

Howard Campbell, Jr., the American-turned-Nazi propagandist, visits the

captives of Slaughterhouse Five. He wears an elaborate costume of his own

design, a cross between cowboy outfit and a Nazi uniform. The POWs are

tired and unhealthy, undernourished and overworked. Campbell offers them

good eating if they join his Free American Corps. The Corps is Campbell's

idea. Composed of Americans fighting for the Germans, they will be sent to

fight on the Russian front. After the war, they will be repatriated through

Switzerland. Campbell reasons that the Americans will have to fight the

Soviet Union sooner or later, and they might as well get it out of the way.

Edgar Derby rises for his finest moment. He denounces Campbell soundly,

praises American forms of government, and speaks of the brotherhood between

Russians and Americans. Air raid sirens sound, and everyone takes cover in

a meat locker. The firebombing will not occur until tomorrow night; these

sirens are only a false alarm. Billy dozes, and then leaps in time to an

argument with his daughter Barbara. She is worrying about what should be

done about Billy. She tells him that she feels like she could kill Kilgore


We move to Billy's first meeting with Trout, which happened in 1964. He is

out driving when he recognizes Trout from the jackets of his books. Trout's

books have never made money, so he works as a newspaper circulation man,

bullying and terrorizing newspaper delivery boys. One of Trout's boys

quits, and Billy offers to help Trout deliver the papers on the boy's

route. He gives Trout a ride. Trout is overwhelmed by meeting an avid fan.

He has only received one letter in the course of his career, and the letter

was crazed. It was written by none other than Billy's friend from the

mental ward, Elliot Rosewater. Billy invites Kilgore Trout to his

anniversary party.

At the party, Trout is obnoxious, but the optometrists and their spouses

are still enchanted by having an actual writer among them. A barbershop

quartet sings "That Old Gang of Mine," and Billy is visibly disturbed.

After giving Valencia her gift, he flees upstairs. Lying in bed, Billy

remembers the bombing of Dresden.

We see the events as Billy remembers them. He and the other POWs, along

with four of their guards, spend the night in the meat locker. The girls

from the shower were being killed in a shallower shelter nearby. The POWs

emerge at noon the next day into what looks like the surface of the moon.

The guards gape at the destruction. They look like a silent film of a

barbershop quartet.

We move to the Trafalmadorian Zoo. Montana Wildhack asked Billy to tell her

a story. He tells her about the burnt logs, actually corpses. He tells her

about the great monuments and buildings of the city turned into a flat,

lunar surface.

We move to Dresden. Without food or water, the POWs have to march to find

some if they are to survive. They make their way across the treacherous

landscape, much of it still hot, bits of crumbling. They are attacked by

American fighter planes. The end up in the suburbs, at an inn that has

prepared to receive any survivors. The innkeeper lets the Americans sleep

in the stable. He provides them with food and drink, and goes out to bid

them goodnight as they go to bed.

Chapter Nine. Summary:

When Billy is in the hospital in Vermont, Valencia goes crazy with grief.

Driving to the hospital, she gets in a terrible accident. She gears up her

car and continues driving to the hospital, determined to get there even

though she leaves her exhaust system behind. She pulls into the hospital

driveway and falls unconscious from carbon monoxide poisoning. An hour

later, she is dead.

Billy is oblivious, unconscious in his bed, dreaming and time traveling. In

the bed next to him is Bertram Copeland Ruumford, an arrogant retired

Brigadier General in the Air Force Reserve. He is a seventy-year-old

Harvard professor and the official historian of the Air Force, and he is in

superb physical condition. He has a twenty-three year-old high school

dropout with an IQ of 103. He is an arrogant jingoist. Currently he is

working on a history of the Air Corp in World War II. He has to write a

section on the success of the Dresden bombing. Ruumfoord's wife Lily is

scared of Billy, who mumbles deliriously. Ruumfoord is disgusted by him,

because all he does in his sleep in quit or surrender.

Barbara comes to visit Billy. She is in a horrible state, drugged up so she

can function after the recent tragedies. Billy cannot hear her. He is

remembering an eye exam he gave to a retarded boy a decade ago. Then he

leaps in time when he was sixteen years old. In the waiting room of a

doctor's office, he sees an old man troubled by horrible gas. Billy opens

his eyes and he is back in the hospital in Vermont. His son Robert, a

decorated Green Beret, is there. Billy closes his eyes again.

He misses Valencia's funeral because he is till too sick. People assume

that he is a vegetable, but actually he is thinking actively about

Trafalmadorians and the lectures he will deliver about time and the

permanence of moments. Overhearing Ruumford talk about Dresden, Billy

finally speaks up and tells Ruumford that he was at Dresden. Ruumford

ignores him, trying to convince himself and the doctors that Billy has

Echonalia, a condition where the sufferer simply repeats what he hears.

Billy leaps in time to May of 1945, two days after the end of the war in

Europe. In a coffin-shaped green wagon, Billy and five other Americans ride

with loot from the suburbs of Dresden. They found the wagon, attached to

two horses, and have been using it to carry things that they have taken.

The homes have been abandoned because the Russians are coming, and the

Americans have been looting. When they go to the slaughterhouse and the

other five Americans loot among the ruins, Billy naps in the wagon. He has

a cavalry pistol and a Luftwaffe ceremonial saber. He wakes; two Germans, a

husband-and-wife pair of obstetricians, are angry about how the Americans

have treated the horses. The horses' hooves are shattered, their mouths are

bleeding from the bits, and they are extremely thirsty. Billy goes around

to look at the horses, and he bursts into tears. It is the only time he

cries in the whole war. Vonnegut reminds the reader of the epigraph at the

start of the book, an excerpt from a Christmas carol that describes the

baby Jesus as not crying. Billy cries very little.

He leaps in time back to the hospital in Vermont, where Ruumford is finally

questioning Billy about Dresden. Barbara takes Billy home later that day.

Billy is watched by a nurse; he is supposed to be under observation, but he

escapes to New York City and gets a hotel room. He plans to tell the world

about the Trafalmadorians and their concept of time. The next day, Billy

goes into a bookstore that sells pornography, peep shows, and Kilgore Trout

novels. Billy is only interested in Kilgore Trout novels. In one of the

pornographic magazines, there is an article about the disappearance of porn

star Montana Wildhack. Later, Billy sneaks onto a radio talk show by posing

as a literary critic. The critics take turns discussing the novel, but when

Billy gets his turn he talks about Trafalmadore. At the next commercial

break, he is made to leave. When he goes back to his hotel room and lies

down, he travels back in time to Trafalmadore. Montana is nursing their

child. She wears a locket with a picture of her mother and the same prayer

that Billy had on his office wall in Ilium.

Chapter Ten. Summary:

Vonnegut tells us that Robert Kennedy died last night. Martin Luther King,

Jr., was assassinated a month ago. Body counts are reported every night on

the news as signs that the war in Vietnam is being won. Vonnegut's father

died years ago of natural causes. He left Billy all of his guns, which

rust. Billy claims that on Trafalmadore the aliens are more interested in

Darwin than Jesus. Darwin, says Vonnegut, taught that death was the means

to progress. Vonnegut recalls the pleasant trip he made to Dresden with his

old war buddy, O'Hare. They were looking up facts about Dresden in a little

book when O'Hare came across a passage on the exploding world population.

By 2000, the book predicts, the world will have a population of 7 billion

people. Vonnegut says that he supposes they will all want dignity.

Billy Pilgrim travels back in time to 1945, two days after the bombing of

Dresden. German authorities find the POWs in the innkeeper's stable. Along

with other POWs, they are brought back to Dresden to dig for bodies. Bodies

are trapped in protected pockets under the rubble, and the POWs are put to

work bringing them up. But after one of the workers is lowered into a

pocket and dies of the dry heaves, the Germans settle on incinerating the

bodies instead of retrieving them. During this time, Edgar Derby is caught

with a teapot he took from the ruins. He is tried and executed by a firing


Then the POWs were returned to the stable. The German soldiers went off to

fight the Soviets. Spring comes, and one day in May the war is over. Billy

and the other men go outside into the abandoned suburbs. They find a horse-

drawn wagon, the wagon green and shaped like a coffin. The birds sing, "Po-


The Sound and the Fury

Summary of April Seventh, 1928:

This section of the book is commonly referred to as "Benjy's section"

because it is narrated by the retarded youngest son of the Compson family,

Benjamin Compson. At this point in the story, Benjy is 33 years old - in

fact, today is his birthday - but the story skips back and forth in time as

various events trigger memories. When the reader first plunges into this

narrative, the jumps in time are difficult to navigate or understand,

although many scenes are marked by recurring images, sounds, or words. In

addition, a sort of chronology can be established depending on who is

Benjy's caretaker: first Versh when Benjy is a child, then T. P. when he is

an adolescent, then Luster when he is an adult. One other fact that may

confuse first-time readers is the repetition of names. There are, for

example, two Jasons (father and son), two Quentins (Benjy's brother and

Caddy's daughter), and two Mauries (Benjy himself before 1900 and Benjy's

uncle). Benjy recalls three important events: the evening of his

grandmother "Damuddy's" death in 1898, his name change in 1900, and Caddy's

sexual promiscuity and wedding in 1910, although these events are

punctuated by other memories, including the delivery of a letter to his

uncle's mistress in 1902 or 1903, Caddy's wearing perfume in 1906, a

sequence of events at the gate of the house in 1910 and 1911 that

culminates in his castration, Quentin's death in 1910, his father's death

and funeral in 1912, and Roskus's death some time after this. I will

summarize each event briefly.

The events of the present day (4/7/28) center around Luster's search for a

quarter he has lost somewhere on the property. He received this quarter

from his grandmother Dilsey in order to go to the circus that evening.

Luster takes Benjy with him as he searches by the golf course that used to

be the Compson's pasture, by the carriage house, down by the branch of the

Yoknapatawpha River, and finally near Benjy's "graveyard" of jimson flowers

in a bottle.

As the story opens, Benjy and Luster are by the golf course, where the

golfers' cries of "caddie" cause Benjy to "beller" because he mistakes

their cries for his missing sister Caddy's name. In the branch, Luster

finds a golfer's ball, which he later tries to sell to the golfers; they

accuse him of stealing it and take it from him. Luster tries to steer Benjy

away from the swing, where Miss Quentin and her "beau" (one of the

musicians from the circus) are sitting, but is unsuccessful. Quentin is

furious and runs into the house, while her friend jokes with Luster and

asks him who visits Quentin. Luster replies that there are too many male

visitors to distinguish.

Luster takes Benjy past the fence, where Benjy sees schoolgirls passing

with their satchels. Benjy moans whenever Luster tries to break from the

routine path Benjy is used to. At Benjy's "graveyard," Luster disturbs the

arrangement of flowers in the blue bottle, causing Benjy to cry. At this

Luster becomes frustrated and says "beller. You want something to beller

about. All right, then. Caddy. . . . Caddy. Beller now. Caddy" (55).

Benjy's crying summons Dilsey, Luster's grandmother, who scolds him for

making Benjy cry and for disturbing Quentin. They go in the kitchen, where

Dilsey opens the oven door so Benjy can watch the fire. Dilsey has bought

Benjy a birthday cake, and Luster blows out the candles, making Benjy cry

again. Luster teases him by closing the oven door so that the fire "goes

away." Dilsey scolds Luster again. Benjy is burned when he tries to touch

the fire. His cries disturb his mother, who comes to the kitchen and

reprimands Dilsey. Dilsey gives him an old slipper to hold, an object that

he loves.

Luster takes Benjy to the library, where his cries disturb Jason, who comes

to the door and yells at Luster. Luster asks Jason for a quarter. At

dinner, Jason interrogates Quentin about the man she was with that

afternoon and threatens to send Benjy to an asylum in Jackson. Quentin

threatens to run away, and she and Jason fight. She runs out of the room.

Benjy goes to the library, where Luster finds him and shows him that

Quentin has given him a quarter. Luster dresses Benjy for bed; when Benjy's

pants are off he looks down and cries when he is reminded of his

castration. Luster puts on his nightgown and the two of them watch as

Quentin climbs out her window and down a tree. Luster puts Benjy to bed.

Benjy's memories, in chronological order:

Damuddy's death, 1898: Benjy is three years old and his name at this point

is still Maury. Caddy is seven, Quentin is older (nine?) and Jason is

between seven and three.

The four children are playing in the branch of the river. Roskus calls them

to supper, but Caddy refuses to come. She squats down in the river and gets

her dress wet; Versh tells her that her mother will whip her for that.

Caddy asks Versh to help her take her dress off, and Quentin warns him not

to. Caddy takes off her dress and Quentin hits her. The two of them fight

in the branch and get muddy. Caddy says that she will run away, which makes

Maury/Benjy cry; she immediately takes it back. Roskus asks Versh to bring

the children to the house, and Versh puts Caddy's dress back on her.

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