The reality in this novel is about how real it is to Billy Pilgrim (Kurt Vonnegut). He is never really time travelling it is just a part of his stage in life that he keeps replaying. Due to the devastation he had to watch it is hard for him to live everyday as a normal person.
And again this all relates to PTSD. It is not a given fact that Billy had PTSD, however as you read the novel you understand more about his life and why he is the way he is.The reason, behind the readers of Slaughterhouse-five, believing that Billy had become “unstuck in time” was simply the way he moved back and fourth in time. But as the reader reads on, Billy’s illusions become stranger. For example he believes that he is taken the night of his daughters wedding to a different planet with the Tralfamadorians.
It all begins for this part of time travelling when he could not sleep (72). He had dreamed of being taken before and so he knew what would happen this night. However in real life for someone that did not have PTSD it would of simply felt as though it was déjà vu.Nobody in the real world can time travel.
That is why it is believed that Billy Pilgrim is “unstuck in time”. It cannot really happen to people. Billy was taken as a war hostage during Dresden but came out alive. All of this was a very traumatic experience. PTSD is an outcome of traumatic experiences.As the story progresses, Billy uses the saying “so it goes” most of the time after a death.
Billy’s whole story is full of emotional let down and traumatic experiences and his way of dismissing them is by saying “so it goes”. This is also another way Billy has became “unstuck in time”. He is aware of what is happening, however it does not affect him emotionally anymore because he is so used to it. He is used to the traumatic experience due to his time during the war, he dealt with the death of his father and mother. And to him dismissing it is the easiest way for him to believe it is just part of life. What could of happened to Billy is that with all of the traumatic stress and emotional things he had to deal with, he lost all sense of what time in his life it was and what was actually going on. All of his concepts were adjusted to the way his brain was functioning and reacting to all of the stress and emotional hurt he was going through.