- So it goes.
- Repeated quote 100 times in various places in the novel.
- The smell of mustard gas and roses
- Repeated quote in various places in the novel.
- 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?"
- Chapter 1: Vonnegut, as narrator, addresses his publisher Seymour ("Sam") Lawrence directly about his book.
- People aren't suppose to look back. I'm certainly not going to do it anymore. I've finished my war book now. The next one I write is going to be fun. This one is a failure, and had to be, since it was written by a pillar of salt. It begins like this: "Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time." It ends like this: "Poo-tee-weet?"
- Chapter 1
- "When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in that particular moment, but that same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that someone is dead, I simply shrug and say what Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is 'So it goes.'"
- Chapter 2: Billy writing a letter to a newspaper describing the Tralfamadorians.
- "Billy had a framed prayer on his office wall which expressed his method for keeping going, even though he was unenthusiastic about living. A lot of patients who saw the prayer on Billy's wall told him that it helped them to keep going, too. It went like this: "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
- "If I hadn’t spent so much time studying Earthlings," said the Tralfamadorian, "I wouldn’t have any idea what was meant by 'free will.' I've visited thirty-one inhabited planets in the universe, and I have studied reports on one hundred more. Only on Earth is there any talk of free will."
- Chapter 4
- There isn’t any particular relationship between the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. 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.
- Chapter 5: A Tralfamadorian explains a Tralfamadorian novel to Billy