Essay on Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle

1201 Words5 Pages
Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle

I believe that Vonnegut uses Cat's Cradle as an allegorical tale about what will happen to the world if we are not careful with technology that has the ability to end life on this planet. He points out one of the qualities of humanity; that people make mistakes, thus poisoning our minds and encouraging a better world.

One of the obvious ways that Vonnegut uses this book to "encourage a better world" would be by showing that the end of world may come from an accidental release of technology. At the time when this book was written, nuclear war seemed to be an almost certainty. If we look at the number of bomb shelters being built and drills being conducted in classrooms during the late fifties and early sixties
…show more content…
So, by using this little analogy of ice-nine to nuclear power, I believe Vonnegut encourages the reader to try to make the world a better place. Vonnegut takes us through an imaginary look at the end of the world. His apocalyptic vision is littered with examples of the hypocrisy that exist in San Lorenzo and he uses this give us a satirical look at life in America. He points out to the reader that human beings make mistakes and that technology exists that may make one of these mistakes the one that ends the world.

The very first words that I would use to describe Cat's Cradle are surrealistic and black comedy. Reading this book is somewhat like running through a Dali landscape. You can tell that things are not quite right, but it's just a little too blurry to tell why. This feeling is demonstrated beautifully in Cat's Cradle. Vonnegut has this amazing talent to slightly smudge the line between "reality" and fantasy, and Cat's Cradle certainly demonstrates that. He takes rather "normal" things, puts them in a blender, mixes them up and POOF! you have a world that, for some strange reason, makes sense. You laugh at morbidity and don't even question the possibility of a little substance called ice-nine.

There are many examples of surrealism and black humor in Cat's Cradle. One that I found rather bizarre was the "shrine" to Mrs. Hoenikker. A twenty-foot high alabaster phallus covered in mournful poetry and baring the single word MOTHER seems a bit
Get Access