Blind Faith in Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

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In current society, critical thinking can be sparse. It is unusual that people question the traditions they have grown up with. Although this ignorance can be safe and simple, its outcome is ultimately problematic. In the satire Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut proves that undiscerning belief in anything will inevitably end in tragedy. Vonnegut demonstrates this using sensitive topics such as Science and Religion. In the present day, society depends on Science greatly; it supplies jobs, provides technology capable of saving lives, and furthers our society in many positive ways. However, society often misses the negative aspects of Science. Vonnegut identifies many problems with the general perspective on Science in Cat's Cradle, issues that are still relevant today. In this novel, John, the protagonist, sets out to write a book called “the Day the World Ended” about the important people involved in the first Atomic Bomb. He goes on to study the character Felix Hoenikker, who is based on the real Father of the atomic bomb, Robert Oppenheimer. Soon John becomes involved with the chaotic Hoenikker family and all of their personal issues. After a minimal amount of research, John realizes that Felix Hoenikker’s dominating trait was his profound naivety. According to the youngest child in the Hoenikker family, Newt, his father saw himself as an “eight year old on a spring morning on his way to school” (Vonnegut 11). Felix often boasts about this characteristic, but while it can be an advantage to have the curiosity of a child, it does not mean it is appropriate to have the same level of maturity of one. After his wife dies, Felix forces his daughter Angela to drop out of school so he has someone to take care of him. As well, he... ... middle of paper ... ...actices such as Religion. Science and Religion are sometimes seen as indisputable authorities, but in order to preserve peace and morality the general public must learn to challenge them. Although there are moments of debate over these controversial topics, often people do not spend enough time to becoming aware of the world around them. Vonnegut uses this satire to establish the threats of blind faith. Many of the tragic events in Cat's Cradle would have never occurred if the characters had thought critically in such difficult situations. It is important that people teach themselves about world issues because sources such as Science and Religion can be bias. Cat’s Cradle is a call to the public to question authority and never take anything on blind faith. Works Cited Vonnegut, Kurt. Cat's Cradle. New York, N.Y. Delta Trade Paperbacks, 19981963. Print.

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