The Human Vaccination Modern medicine has proved that the best way to prevent the contraction of a disease for humans is to inject a tolerable amount of the virus into the host and let the individual's immune system build a defense capable of withstanding future invasions of the same strand. The small pox vaccination, for example, has eliminated the disease from almost every nation on Earth. But what if the disease is psychological, a way of being or state of mind rather than a physical aberration? My interpretation of Vonnegut's statement to "poison minds with humanity …to encourage them to make a better world" leads me to think that he would approach the problem with the same method. Inject just a bit of stupidity, naiveté, and prideful ignorance directly into the cerebellum so that, hopefully, gradually, humanity will wean themselves of these traits. The technique must be subtle. The needle and syringe must appear nonthreatening or no one will take it. Therefore disguise the needle with cynicism and satire. The idea is to present forms of unwanted human behavior that all of us possess and practice throughout our daily lives and make the reader aware of them. Show the reader humans being human and make them aware of all the stupid, silly, rude things we do and say everyday. Consider the ignorance of Miss Pefko, who neither finds science the very antithesis of magic nor understands the meaning of the word antithesis, the rude curtness of Marvin Breed and Philip Castle, and the duping of the entire population of the Bokonon religion based not on God, but upon socialism and lies. Cat's Cradle is full of characters that display very human, very unwanted traits. By recognizing these traits and consciously thinking about... ... middle of paper ... ...niverse, he his painting a clear picture of the pitfalls of life. It is very clear that in Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut views religion and science as an excuse to not be responsible for individual actions. The Episcopalian woman in Newport believed that by knowing God, she knew everything, and yet lacked the ability to read a blueprint (13). Dr. Hoenikker hid behind that façade of science so that an institution could carry the burden of his inventions, and Jonah blamed Bokonon for the mass suicide, never once mentioning that each individual had a choice of whether or not to kill themselves (182). Vonnegut's use of satire coats the poisonous pen used to show his readers the inescapable consequences of stupidity and arrogance. Displaying the darkness and destruction of mankind allows his readers to see where changes can be made that would allow a better world to emerge.
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Vonnegut deals a lot with fantasy in his book, Cat's Cradle. From the beginning, he talks about the religion that he follows: Bokonism. This is not a real religion, however he has rules, songs, scriptures, and opinions of a person that practices this fantasy religion. Within his description of this religion however is black humor as well. I think that by him making up this whole religion and an entire island of people who follow it, is in a way mocking today's religion and the way that people are dedicated to their beliefs.
Kurt Vonnegut's apocalyptic novel, Cat's Cradle, might well be called an intricate network of paradox and irony. It is with such irony and paradox that Vonnegut himself describes his work as "poisoning minds with humanity...to encourage them to make a better world" (The Vonnegut Statement 107). In Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut does not tie his co-mingled plots into easy to digest bites as the short chapter structure of his story implies. Rather, he implores his reader to resolve the paradoxes and ironies of Cat's Cradle by simply allowing them to exist. By drawing our attention to the paradoxical nature of life, Vonnegut releases the reader from the necessity of creating meaning into a realm of infinite possibility. It appears that Vonnegut sees the impulse toward making a better world as fundamental to the human spirit; that when the obstacle of meaning is removed the reader, he supposes, will naturally improve the world.
But what really forces Vonnegut to impose his presence on the text is his complete inability to remove himself at all from the act of communication at the core of any work of literature. He revels in that involvement. He has mentioned his desire, what he implies is a universal need of all human beings, for some "soul-deep fun." He uses this term as a synonym for greatness. And this has lead to some nasty comments in fiction workshops about stories that I've written: complaints of flat characters, cartoonish plotlines, non-directed criticism, overall pessimism and over-sentimentality for all things lowbrow. Needless to say, sometimes I feel, to varying degrees of pretension, like Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
In his novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut dips his words in satire and sprinkles them with hidden themes that can only be understood if one takes the necessary steps to seek them out. Upon dissecting these themes, I have come to find Vonnegut’s novel as one that unveils the mediocre reality of how society acts and thinks and offers suggestions on how the it should actually be. Such themes are also found in other pieces of literature, that when compared, evoke a better understanding of Slaughterhouse-Five. Such works of literature are Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical address to a graduating class at Bennington College in 1970, Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If,” and Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “The World Is a Beautiful Place.” These writer’s ideas lie
Satire is the use of wit to criticize behavior. From the surface, this technique appears humorous but it’s greater purpose is to inform the audience. Authors generally use satire as a tool to draw attention to both specific and broader issues in society. It effectively discloses these problems to the public. In the novel Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Vonnegut uses satire in many situations to expose the brutal truth and horrors of war. Vonnegut stresses the fact that death and war are inevitable. His goal throughout this novel is to have his readers be successful in accepting life on it’s own terms and recognizing the fact that the inevitable cannot be changed.
A little while after reading the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller and Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut, two questions came to mind. What is the connection the author is trying to make to our world, and what is the author trying to change in the world? These are all either a comic satire, or tragic satire. However, they all use sharp wit in order to discredit some of the most vile vices in our world, or just social convention for that matter. This is seen in Brave New World, the dilemma of society’s stability at the cost of civilization’s humanity and moral. In this novel about a dystopian world, Huxley portrays todays world, except backwards. The fictional World State is above everyones need, while in favor for everyone as a whole, and individual freedom is neglected. Joseph Heller’s preeminent target is the absolute power of a bureaucratic system. By exposing the remoteness of the elites(how remote human beings are about something that doesn't affect them directly), lack of free-will, and the sterility of language, Heller exposes a lingering virus that threatens societies humanity. These concepts are complementary to those of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-5. In this novel about a dull-witted man, going to and fro in time, while doing nothing to change the world around him. This, in itself, is a statement about society, how dull-witted humanity is about war. In the end, Vonnegut’s makes an assertion about what one does after a massacre, or could only do. While many suggest that Vonnegut negate free will, others believe otherwise; after all, Slaughterhouse-5 is meant to belittle untimely death under horrific situations. Satire tends to leave readers with a serious after-taste, making them chuckle sligh...
He shows how faulty this type of society can be and did not follow the cookie cutter of how to present this information to the public. Vonnegut is undoubtedly a wonderful author that understands the theme of what he is writing and how to write
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 the world may come from an accidental release of technology. At the time when this book was written, nuclear war seemed to be almost a certainty.
Ever since the first district was gerrymandered in the late 1700’s by Eldridge Gerry, it paved the way for politicians to keep their seats. It allows politicians to have the freedom to choose which district they would like to govern. In the article, “This Is What Gerrymandering Would Look Like” it talks about enforcing a separate committee to redistrict maps instead of politicians. People that are for Gerrymandering believe it takes power away from them and makes it harder to seek reelection. Thus the new shift of power will disrupt every congressional district in the United States. For instance, areas where people believe in one political ideology would be forced to vote with a party that doesn’t believe in their views. This is why politicians want to have a close involvement with their voters and be a part of what they represent. On the other hand, gerrymandering prevents change politically especially when the ideologies of a voters group changes. This is the same troubling issue private citizens are going through because it creates a wall between voter and candidate. Ridding Gerrymandering from our political system and instituting computerized fixations of the districts creates an even playing ground for
In 2001 the Texas Legislature was in a deadlock of a new district map to coincide with the census. Because they were unable to agree on a map the state law requires a Legislative Redistricting Board which includes: the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House, Attorney General, Comptroller, and the Land Commissioner, to take on the task of creating the district map. The Republicans were seeking a new map increase their control of the State Congress. However, the Democrats felt the minority votes were being diluted by gerrymandering, as well as, violate the Voting Rights Law.
By the year 2000, Texas Republicans had taken control of the executive branch, house, and senate within the state government. After elections in 2002, Republicans also gained a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, but the state of Texas sent seventeen Democrat and fifteen Republican representatives to Washington. This ratio was disproportional to the voting percentages statewide where Republican congressional candidates had received fifty six percent of the votes. So the Texas State Legislature backed by House Majority Leader and Texan Tom DeLay began to push for a redistricting of Texas congressional districts. The Texas Legislature had failed to pass any redistricting legislation during the 2001 regular legislative session. Republicans, saw an opportunity for a major political gain by redistricting Texas so in 2003 a redistricting bi...
When talking about God there is no absolute truth. Through five major religions, there is one god but all with a different story or face. God is referenced in everyday conversation, but do we really know what or who god really is? People say that they “love” God, but what does “love” mean and how can someone “love” and unknown thing like God? Everyone has their own definitions for these two things, but which one is the correct one? There are so many questions to be asked from two simple words yet no one has come up with a final answer to any of them. In the novel, Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut, he explores the idea of both of these words and the concepts of different views on both of them. God and love are both concepts of personal truth, not absolute truth.
Kurt Vonnegut uses a combination of dark humor and irony in Slaughterhouse-Five. As a result, the novel enables the reader to realize the horrors of war while simultaneously laughing at some of the absurd situations it can generate. Mostly, Vonnegut wants the reader to recognize the fact that one has to accept things as they happen because no one can change the inevitable.
At the beginning of the story when her father died, it was mentioned that “[Emily] told [the ladies in town] that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body” (626). Faulkner reveals Emily’s dependency on her father through the death of her father. As shown in this part of the story, Emily was very attached to her father and was not able to accept that fact that he was no longer around. She couldn’t let go of the only man that loved her and had been with her for all those years. While this may seem like a normal reaction for any person who has ever lost a loved one, Faulkner emphasizes Emily’s dependence and attachment even further through Homer Barron. After her father’s death, Emily met a man name Homer, whom she fell in love with. While Homer showed interest in Emily at the beginning he became uninterested later on. “Homer himself had remarked—he liked men” (627) which had caused Emily to become devastated and desperate. In order to keep Homer by her side, Emily decided to poison Homer and keep him in a bedroom in her home. It was clear that she was overly attached to Homer and was not able to lose another man that she