"Epic story of a mysterious stranger with a harmonica who joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad."
Fig.1 Sergio Leone (1968). "Once Upon a Time in the West"
[See from this point for a good example of film flashback to explain backstory, where Charles Bronson's character reveals a moment from his past. The exposition provides a direct way of adding context and meaning to current situation.]
On the title page of Slaughterhouse Five Vonnegut invites the reader to see the book as 'a novel somewhat in the telegraphic schizophrenic manner of tales of the planet Tralfamadore.' With its short chapters and paragraphs, its short sets of sentences or paragraphs with spaces between them, the novel has a physical resemblance to the Tralfamadorian model. Many of the juxtaposed segments do not relate sequentially or thematically but together build a total impression like a montage. Events from two periods (1944-1945 and 1968) and from other points in the life of the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, are intermixed. His life is not revealed chronologically, by beginning in medias res, or by flashback; rather, the reader knows its end from the start, and the parts are filled in, from all segments of his life, as the oval progresses. Pilgrim's life follows in a 'causal' rather than chronological manner.