Vonnegut's Simple Style in Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle Essay

Vonnegut's Simple Style in Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle Essay

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Vonnegut's Simple Style in Cat's Cradle


The simple style with which Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. writes
his novels belies the complexity hidden behind his
sentences. Vonnegut's novels, as a result, are amazingly
easy and, to many, enjoyable to read, yet they contain
messages that go to the very root of humanity, messages that
are not hidden underneath flowery prose. The success of
Cat's Cradle, like all of his novels, relies on this
simplicity to reveal its messages about religion, death, and
apocalypse to the reader.

Cat's Cradle is composed of a series of short, very
direct, and seemingly simple sentences, that, when combined,
form a surprisingly complex novel. Cat's Cradle, like most
of Vonnegut's novels, is not very wordy. Vonnegut will
almost always say things directly; for example, when
discussing the history of San Lorenzo, he writes,
"Subsequent expeditions came for gold...found none, burned
a few natives for entertainment and heresy, and sailed on"
(89). Vonnegut uses a very direct and flippant manner when
he writes of things that others might not confront, such as
the cruelty of the conquistadors. He does not try to hide
his messages subtly, so his readers get the full meaning out
of his novel, even if they are reading the book merely for
entertainment. One does not have to search through his novel
word-for-word to find Vonnegut's themes. Instead, Vonnegut
sends his themes via simplicity and exaggeration. For
Vonnegut to convey his ideas successfully to the reader, he
must use a simple style to do s o; his point of view is so
contrary to the norm that simplicity is the only way for him
to get hi...


... middle of paper ...


...continue trying, because it is human nature to
risk destroying the world to further one's own ends.

Cat's Cradle depends on Vonnegut's simplicity and other
literary techniques, like exaggeration, to make its point.
Man's destructive nature is made quite clear in this
excellent novel, and unnecessary words and sentences would
have destroyed the clarity of Vonnegut's message. The
message, and the readability of the novel, are more
important than if the novel is of the same literary caliber
as the likes of Shakespeare and Hemingway. Vonnegut's simple
sentences, combined with exaggeration, irony, and elements
of science fiction, make his novels, and the messages
contained within them, very powerful, and very enjoyable to
read. In this way, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. has established
himself as a literary master.

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