Kurt Vonnegut's Cats Cradle Use of Satire

1498 WordsMar 22, 20086 Pages
Cat's Cradle: Religion and Satire What is religion? There is no one correct answer, however, one definition that seems to cover every aspect of most established religions is, "…the most comprehensive and intensive manner of valuing known to human beings" (Pecorino). In Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut takes this definition and creates his own religion in order to satirize all others. Bokononism, Vonnegut's contrived religion, is built on foma, or harmless untruths. Bokononists believe that good societies can only be built by keeping a high tension between good and evil at all times, and that there is no such thing as absolute evil (Schatt 64). They have created their own language with words such as karass, a group of people…show more content…
They feel the same way they did an hour before the ceremony, except maybe a little more relaxed because all of their hard work is finally over. In Bokononism, after boko-maru, a Bokononist should feel more aware, but in reality, playing "footsie" is not likely to make anyone suddenly aware of everything in the entire world. Boko-maru is another way in which Vonnegut satirizes religion. The final way in which Kurt Vonnegut satirizes religious themes is with the apocalyptic ending of Cat's Cradle. In Bokononism, it is prophesied that the boat that brought Lionel B. Johnson and Earl McCabe to San Lorenzo, the Lady's Slipper II, would sail again right before the world ended (Vonnegut 109). Ironically, that is the only prophecy to be proven correct; every other prophecy made by established religions is wrong. Ice-nine, a creation of scientist Dr. Felix Hoenikker, causes water to freeze at very high temperatures. If a tiny seed of ice-nine reaches any surface water, all the water on the planet would freeze, just like this conversation between John, the narrator of the book, and Dr. Breed, Dr. Hoenikker's boss, states: "But suppose, young man, that one marine had with him a tiny capsule containing a seed of ice-nine, a new way for the atoms of water to stack and lock, to freeze. If that marine threw that seed into the nearest puddle…?" "The puddle would freeze?" I guessed. "And all of the muck around the
Open Document