The Danger of Technological Advancement   Leave a comment

I believe that this was a theme in the book that was not expressed quite enough. Although there were examples of it in the book, such as Felix creating the Atomic bomb or foolishly giving away Ice Nine to children, I do not think that many of the readers took it as seriously as they should. As we grow older, our technology grows more and more powerful. Science continues to flourish and more destructive things are created everyday. It seems as though we are trying to control life through created robots or electronic devices to track our moves or thoughts and do not take into consideration what a danger this could be. It is shown in the book that Felix acts like a child, and although the creates something very destructive that kills a lot of people, he was still irresponsible and I think that this was foreshadowing  or a warning of our future.


Posted July 27, 2010 by shelbyslp in Uncategorized

Desire and Happiness   Leave a comment

I agree that this was a main theme in the book, of course, because there was so many examples of it. There were several points in the story that their desire for what they wanted brought the characters unhappiness. An example of this is John’s desire to spend his life with Mona, but she does not want to be faithful to only him and in the end, dies with the rest of her people. However, despite this ongoing theme in the book, I do not believe it is true that it is better to want nothing at all just because there is a chance that it might bring you misfortune or pain. These things are all apart of the human experience and it shouldn’t have been expressed or suggested in the book that our pursuits, desires and wants are meaningless because they’re not. Everything desire that you regret was something that you wanted and made you happy at one time.

Posted July 27, 2010 by shelbyslp in Uncategorized

Salvation in Lies   Leave a comment

I definately agree that this was a very important theme in the book. Bokonon’s entire religion was based on lies, and many other religions in the world are simply made up. The Bokonists believed lies that made them feel spiritual or connected to one another, and this made them happy. His lies gives people hope and something to rely on, which I think makes things better. The people of San Lorenzo do not have much to be happy about or believe in since they live such hard lives. As far as beyond the book goes, I agree with what Vonnegut is communicating to us. Ignornace is bliss, and sometimes we just need something to believe in to give our lives some kind of meaning.

Posted July 27, 2010 by shelbyslp in Uncategorized

6. Individual control and destiny are often portrayed as competing forces in the novel. In your opinion, which of these is more important in determining characters’ plight in the novel? How is this discussion complicated by recognizing that Vonnegut, as author, makes the choices that control the characters and the plot? Does an author make every choice for himself, or is he ultimately constrained by factors such as making the narrative believable–as though even the author does not have full control over the novel?   2 comments

Shelby Redding

Literature of the Strange and Mysterious

Ms. Stillwell


Individual Control vs. Accepting your Destiny

            The battle between questioning control of your own life and having faith in destiny has been going on for a very long time. The beliefs of which is true are different for everyone, depending on anything from their experiences in life or how they were raised. In the novel, ‘Cat’s Cradle’ by Kurt Vonnegut, individual control and the idea of destiny are two competing forces throughout the story. While John is struggling to write a book about the Hiroshima bomb dropping, his research takes him on an adventure that was out of his control. He sees how several other characters’ lives were greatly affected by the bomb and what they’ve done because of the event since then. In my opinion, the story revolves much more around the theme of destiny and accepting your fate than anything else.

            First of all, the characters in the story are greatly influenced by the Hiroshima bomb dropping. The bomb being dropped was completely out of their control, and they did not realize what damage and/or good it could possibly bring to their lives, as they could not do anything about it. For example, the bomb being dropped led to the discovery of ice nine. The ice nine was then given to the Hoenikker children, who either sold it, gave it away as a gift, or had it stolen. From there, the ice nine ultimately led to the death of the population of San Lorenzo. The people who inhabited San Lorenzo had no idea about ice nine, and therefore their lives were not in their hands but rather in the hands of fate.

            Secondly, the story of how John got to meet all of the people in his Karass is another good example of fate and destiny in the novel, ‘Cat’s Cradle’. John, while researching for his book about the bomb dropping, was offered a job in San Lorenzo. Upon discovering that Franklin Hoenikker was living where John was going to work, many others suddenly came into his life. On the plane, John met both of the other Hoenikker children who he was also doing research on. These two would bring him closer to Frank, who would eventually lead to the proposal to John to be president of San Lorenzo. This event would then, of course, eventually lead to the ice nine deaths. It is said that fate brings people together. In Bokonism, it is believed that you have certain people who are part of your karass, and you are all part of a team to do God’s Will and carry out God’s plan.

            Lastly, the story of John’s book and the fact that Vonnegut has written this entire story are my final example of destiny. In the beginning, John plans on writing a book about the reactions from those who can remember where they were on the day the Hiroshima bomb was dropped. The book, as he says, was to be factual and Christian. However, the book took him on an adventure through a religion of lies and the dangers of science. John did not expect this and could not prevent this, because the actions and knowledge of the people around him were out of his control. I don’t think that the author controlled every aspect of this book. There were several factors that could’ve led him in the direction he was supposed to take, such as trying to make it more interesting, believable or making the characters seem more realistic through their actions and personalities. I do believe that the author has the chance to make choices in his own story, but I do not believe that he would have control over the plot because the goal is to make the characters come alive.

            In conclusion, there are several reasons that explain how book is based on accepting your fate or destiny. I believe things in the story happened for a reason and the characters were brought together by a force much bigger than them. It is hard to say if this is true in real life, but this Vonnegut had a way of making it very convincing.

Posted July 27, 2010 by shelbyslp in Uncategorized

 Bokonon built his religion on lies. Is there every a right time to lie? Is there ever a wrong time to tell the truth?   2 comments

I don’t think I believe that there is ever a right time to tell a flat out lie. Although it might help you at first, usually the lie will backfire in your face. However, telling white lies to spare people’s feelings or bending the truth to protect yourself or others is necessary sometimes.  White lies can make situations easier, but can also be dangerous but people usually know when the right time to do this is. This goes the same for knowing when it is not the right time to tell the truth. It is not normal to be completely honest all the time. When telling the truth will potentially harm someone, emotionally or physically, I think that it is an appropriate time to lie. Honesty is not always the best policy.

Posted July 26, 2010 by shelbyslp in Uncategorized

 Castle Sugar paid supervisors low wages to torture and overwork the employees, who were paid almost nothing. Are there companies in the United States that have work done outside the country because it is cheaper and they can make more money in the long run? What can we as consumers do to stop these people from taking advantage of the workers this way?   2 comments

The number one company that I can bring up with this question is Wal Mart. Wal Mart is an extremely corrupted company for many reasons. Their employees are paid almost but nothing are forced to work ridiculous hours, no matter what their age or what they are physically able to do. Outside of the U.S., Wal mart has what are basically sweatshops in countries such as China. The people are paid in change, and forced to live in their work places and pay rent. They are not given barely anything but will work all day for the small amount of pay Wal Mart gives them. As consumers, we should boycott companies like this. It has taken over several smaller businesses that we used to know that do not abuse their employees like this. By boycotting, we would eventually shut them down.

Posted July 26, 2010 by shelbyslp in Uncategorized

 Angela Hoenikker is suddenly left motherless. She also has the responsibility for caring for her younger brothers, one of them an infant. What thoughts do you think are going through her head?   Leave a comment

Angela Hoenikker was probably very frightened and panicked when she realized that she had to take care of the rest of her family by herself. Being a teenaged girl without a mother would be extremely difficult, but having to become your mother for the family would be even harder. Angela probably did not know much about taking care of infants when her Mother died, and would have to learn everything so they could survive. Since the father didn’t help, Angela probably felt a little betrayed and also lonely. However, she knew she had to take initiative and if she didn’t take care of them nobody would. If I was her, I would have been very scared.

Posted July 26, 2010 by shelbyslp in Uncategorized