Quote: "The nicest veterans in Schenectady, I thought, the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who'd really fought." (Chapter 1).
Analysis: Slaughterhouse Five is an anti-war book. Who better to understand the horrors of war than those who fought in it.
Quote: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference." Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future." (Chapter 3).
Analysis: This quote provides an excellent example of meiosis, or deliberate understatement. Billy has no control over anything that happens in his life and he has accepted it.
Quote: "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." (Chapter 4).
Analysis: Billy, unable to confront the atrocities he has experienced, resigns himself to the Tralfamadorian philosophy that he has no control over his life and creates a make believe escape through the novels of Kilgore Trout and time-traveling hallucinations (if, in fact, they are hallucinations).