Slaughterhouse V Epilogue

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A while ago, I stumbled upon an epilogue to Slaughterhouse V (by Kurt Vonnegut) written for an assignment in my english class. Reading back this epilogue, I remember some parts of this definitely weird story.

Note: This contains spoilers/interpretations of events!

1976, an old man is giving a speech to a convention in Chicago. It's about a supposed alien abduction. These supposed aliens can see throughout time. They supposedly say that a creature is both alive and death at all times, although at one certain moment it is just one of both. They supposedly live on a planet billions of miles away from earth, but they can supposedly travel there instantly.

This old man is already going bald. He's got glasses and somewhere an anxious daughter is waiting for him to end his speech and go home. She actually thinks this man is crazy but still supports him because he is her father. This man is called Billy Pilgrim.


This morning Billy thought about his life so far. He knew he would not experience the world after this day alive. You might be able to experience something at a moment you are dead. So it goes. Anyway, he had to prepare for the convention. He had attended multiple conferences before, and in only two, people hadn't laughed at him. Somehow, people must be frightened of not thinking they are in control he thought.

At this very moment, Billy is crossing the street. A masked man is following him. Billy already knew who it was. And he was in peace with it. A gun slipped out of a pocket, a soft but deafening sound was heard then the sound of a body dropping unto the streets. Nothing...


Barbara is waiting in the hospital. Her father is in surgery. It happened all so sudden. Right at the moment that he was alone, he was shot and robbed of the little money he had on him. How can a person live with himself if he kills over so little? The door slides open and a doctor comes right at her. She already knows he has passed. He has even said it this very morning. So it goes.

A person is rushed in. It's a 53 year old, half bald man. Shot in the left chest, immediate operation is needed. Three doctors are already waiting at the operation table, fully prepped to save this man's life. The bullet went straight into his heart and somehow ricocheted through his lungs. He was a mess. If he would be able to live on, he would be immobilised for the rest of his life. Still, they tried to get through the bloody mass that is this man's body. Despite their best efforts, they could not get him stable, they would have to let him go. The bullet had done too much damage. So it goes.


As they cleaned their equipment, the heart stopped beating. He was dead. The doctors talked about this man's body. How could one shot do so much damage? They stared at the body. Then for some reason, they saw an EEG giving high results. Who the heck would connect an EEG to a critical ICU patient? It was interesting. A dead man's brain was somehow still functioning while his entire body was already dead. It lasted for over 20 minutes. Then suddenly the graph dropped down too.


A deceased body is being carted down to the morgue. It had to be autopsied. First of all, this person was murdered, but the most interesting phenomenon had played out. This body's brain had lived considerably longer than the body it belonged to. Although the cause of death had already been assured, the examiner looked on, searching for clues to how the brain could have lived so much longer. When he cut open the head, the brain was misformed, a giant tumor had been there. He was reported to be kind of delusional. This might have been the cause. The tumor covered almost half of the brain.

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