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A colonel in the Army who is taken prisoner and placed in a railcar, Wild Bob has double pneumonia and eventually dies of his illness. He tells all to ask for him in Cody, Wyoming, where they might meet again; this becomes a refrain repeated in the novel, by Vonnegut and others.

Wild Bob Quotes in Slaughterhouse-Five

The Slaughterhouse-Five quotes below are all either spoken by Wild Bob or refer to Wild Bob. 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 10 Quotes

“If you’re ever in Cody, Wyoming,” I said to him lazily, “just ask for Wild Bob.”

Related Characters: Kurt Vonnegut (speaker), Wild Bob
Page Number: 212
Explanation and Analysis:

This line, which Vonnegut repeats from earlier in the novel, is a bond between O'Hare and Vonnegut, of which Vonnegut is reminded on a trip back to Dresden with his friend in the 1960s. Wild Bob died of pneumonia in the prisoner train car, and in telling his fellow soldiers they could ask for him in Cody, he's saying that he will have a life again, that he will be reborn - at least in memory - among the people of Cody.

Like "so it goes," this line, repeated by characters throughout Slaughterhouse-Five, is a reminder of the human element of war, and of the cost of war. Wild Bob was by all accounts a good man, and the life he led in Cody, his "real" life, was about as distant from his in Dresden as it could possibly be. Vonnegut and O'Hare think of Wild Bob when they think of the human souls the war took away - and the resilience and humor of those, like Wild Bob, who were not lucky enough to survive. 


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Wild Bob Character Timeline in Slaughterhouse-Five

The timeline below shows where the character Wild Bob appears in Slaughterhouse-Five. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
...ignorant of military terminology and does not understand the question. The colonel, who calls himself Wild Bob , believes he is addressing his men, although no one among the POWs was in... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
...bad.” Pilgrim catches a glimpse of the luxury in the railcar for the German officers. Wild Bob dies in the colonel’s car and his corpse is carried out. The trains are marked... (full context)
Chapter 10
War and Death Theme Icon
Time, Time-travel, and Free Will Theme Icon
Money and Success Theme Icon
Witness and Truth Theme Icon
...friend are now “well-to-do,” and repeats, “If you’re ever in Cody, Wyoming, just ask for Wild Bob .” (full context)