Slaughterhouse-Five

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An antisocial, bullying young soldier from Pittsburgh, Roland Weary survives a German attack on his unit and stumbles on two scouts, with whom he imagines he has teamed to form “The Three Musketeers.” Weary also finds Billy and drags him along behind enemy lines, but the scouts are killed by Germans and Weary and Billy are captured. Weary is given ill-fitting shoes by the Germans and later dies of gangrene in his feet. He vows revenge against Billy, whom he blames for his death.

Roland Weary Quotes in Slaughterhouse-Five

The Slaughterhouse-Five quotes below are all either spoken by Roland Weary or refer to Roland Weary. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
War and Death Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dell edition of Slaughterhouse-Five published in 1991.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Five German soldiers and a police dog on a leash were looking down into the bed of the creek. The soldiers’ blue eyes were filled with a bleary civilian curiosity as to why one American would try to murder another one so far from home, and why the victim should laugh.

Related Characters: Kurt Vonnegut (speaker), Billy Pilgrim, Roland Weary
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

Vonnegut, in this passage, describes the fight between Pilgrim and Weary, and shows how arbitrary the animosities of war can be. For, of course, the Germans and the Americans are enemies and should be fighting one another. The Americans, on the other hand, have no business fighting among themselves, at least according to official Army regulations.

But war is really a set of artificial constraints, especially in the way Vonnegut depicts it. The Germans do not necessarily, or in fact seldom, have personal grudges against the Americans. And the Americans, despite their general understanding that Nazi Germany has committed crimes of its own, do not necessarily believe that each and every German is their "natural" enemy. In fact, what Vonnegut takes pains to show is how bizarre and outlandish the notion of a "natural" enemy is. In Slaughterhouse-Five, men only have accidental, or provisional, enemies - enemies brought on by the circumstances in which people find themselves. 

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Roland Weary Character Timeline in Slaughterhouse-Five

The timeline below shows where the character Roland Weary appears in Slaughterhouse-Five. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Money and Success Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
...bullet, as the Germans are patrolling the recently captured territory, but is convinced by Roland Weary, the gunner, to dive into a ditch. (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
Weary, also new to combat, is the only survivor of German tank fire in his unit.... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Money and Success Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
Weary, Pilgrim, and two scouts continue through the snow, hoping to avoid detection by the Germans.... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
...He passes out in the back seat of his car and is woken up by Weary, back in the war. (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Weary rescues Pilgrim by the tree, though Pilgrim wishes to be left behind or to “turn... (full context)
Chapter 3
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
The Germans who come upon Weary and Pilgrim are part of the “mopping up” after the battle. Two of the five... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
...is helped up by one of the beautiful young boys. The scouts who had abandoned Weary and Pilgrim are shot nearby as they wait to attack the Germans. Weary is disarmed... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
...the Americans march eastward, German reserves march westward to continue the fight. One spits on Weary. They continue their march into Germany, and Pilgrim finds himself in a railroad car bound... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
...is addressing his men, although no one among the POWs was in his unit except Weary, who is too preoccupied by the pain in his feet caused by the clogs to... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
Pilgrim is placed into a train car with his fellow privates, Weary with soldiers of his own rank. An older hobo grouped with the privates says their... (full context)
Chapter 4
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
...their travels the hobo, who thought their treatment was not “so bad,” dies, as does Weary, of gangrene caused by his ill-fitting clogs. He bemoans the fate of the Three Musketeers... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
...near Pilgrim is Edgar Derby, a forty-four year old English teacher from Indianapolis, who held Weary’s head as he died and who has a son fighting in the Pacific. Vonnegut announces... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Science Fiction and Aliens Theme Icon
Money and Success Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
Paul Lazzaro, a skinny car thief from Illinois, is introduced. He was also in Weary’s car and has pledged to kill Pilgrim to avenge Weary. All the Americans are showered... (full context)
Chapter 6
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Science Fiction and Aliens Theme Icon
Money and Success Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
...day, he will have the Englishman who injured him shot. He also promises that, as Weary requested, he will have Billy shot after the war as well. Because Billy can travel... (full context)