A free-wheeling vehicle an unforgettable ride!”—The New York Times Cat's Cradle is Kurt Vonnegut's satirical. Cat's Cradle () is Vonnegut's most ambitious novel, which put into the language terms like "wampeter", "kerass" and "granfalloon" as well as a structured. However, in Cat's Cradle Vonnegut presents the reader with an alternative, “the idea of a pattern which is free form - something between utter shapelessness.
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by Kurt Vonnegut. Copyright .. "Making the cat's cradle was the closest I ever saw my father "He must have surprised himself when he made a cat's cradle. A Modem Major General CtpaHMua 1 KurtVonnegut-CatsCradl e B8. .. CtpaHMua 6 KurtVonnegut-CatsCradl e "Making the cat's cradle was the closest I ever. Cat's Cradle. Home · Cat's Cradle Author: Vonnegut Kurt. 46 downloads Views KB Size Report Cat's cradle. Read more · Cat's Cradle · Read more .
Gentle seas then nuzzled Frank's pleasure craft to the rocky shores of San Lorenzo, as though God wanted him to go there. Breed obeyed, stepping back to read the banner's message. He died on a Christmas Eve. Knowles was insane, I'm almost sure--offensively so, in that he grabbed his own behind and cried, "Yes, yes! His fame had rested on lechery, alcoholism, reckless driving, and draft evasion. House of Hope and Mercy I was so young when the bomb was dropped that I don't think I'm going to be much help.
The Iron Maiden and the Oubliette Mona Thanks Me To Whom It May Concern I Am Slow to Answer The Swiss Family Robinson Of Mice and Men Frank's Ant Farm The Tasmanians Soft Pipes, Play On My parents did, or nearly did.
They called me John. Jonah-- John--i f I had been a Sam, I would have been a Jonah still--not because I have been unlucky for others, but because somebody or something has compelled me to be certain places at certain times, without fail. Conveyances and motives, both conventional and bizarre, have been provided. And, according to plan, at each appointed second, at each appointed place this Jonah was there. Li sten: When I was a younger man--two wives ago, , cigarettes ago, 3, quarts of booze ago.
The book was to be factual. The book was to be an account of what important Americans had done on the day when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. It was to be a Christian book. I was a Christian then. I am a Bokononist now. I would have been a Bokononist then, if there had been anyone to teach me the bittersweet lies of Bokonon. But Bokononism was unknown beyond the gravel beaches and coral knives that ring this little island in the Caribbean Sea, the Republic of San Lorenzo.
We Bokononists believe that humanity is organized into teams, teams that do God's Will without ever discovering what they are doing. It is as free-form as an amoeba. In his "Fifty-third Calypso," Bokonon invites us to sing along with him: Nice, nice, very nice; Nice, nice, very nice; Nice, nice, very nice-- So many different people In the same device. Bokonon simply observes that such investigations are bound to be incomplete.
I once knew an Episcopalian lady in Newport, Rhode Island, who asked me to design and build a doghouse for her Great Dane. The lady claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly. She could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or about what was going to be. And yet, when I showed her a blueprint of the doghouse I proposed to build, she said to me, "I'm sorry, but I never could read one of those things.
I shall never forget her. She believed that God liked people in sailboats much better than He liked people in motorboats. She could not bear to look at a worm. When she saw a worm, she screamed. She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is Doing, [writes Bokonon]. I do not intend that this book be a tract on behalf of Bokononism. I should like to offer a Bokononist warning about it, however.
Anyone unable to understand how a useful religion can be founded on lies will not understand this book either. So be it. It surely includes the three children of Dr. Felix Hoenikker, one of the so-called "Fathers" of the first atomic bomb. The first of his heirs to be touched by my sinookas was Newton Hoenikker, the youngest of his three children, the younger of his two sons.
So I wrote this letter to Newt: I am gathering material for a book relating to the first atomic bomb. Its contents will be limited to events that took place on August 6, , the day the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
If you do have brothers and sisters, I should like very much to have their addresses so that I can send similar requests to them. Leave all that to me. That sounds like a very interesting book you are doing. I was so young when the bomb was dropped that I don't think I'm going to be much help. You should really ask my brother and sister, who are both older than I am. My sister is Mrs. Harrison C. That is my home address, too, now. I think she will be glad to help you.
Nobody knows where my brother Frank is. He disappeared right after Father's funeral two years ago, and nobody has heard from him since. For all we know, he may be dead now. The door was open, and I could see my father. He was wearing pajamas and a bathrobe. He was smoking a cigar. He was playing with a loop of string. Father was staying home from the laboratory in his pajamas all day that day.
He stayed home whenever he wanted to. When the Manhattan Project came along, the bomb project, Father wouldn't leave Ilium to work on it. He said he wouldn't work on it at all unless they let him work where he wanted to work. A lot of the time that meant at home. The only place he liked to go, outside of Ilium, was our cottage on Cape Cod.
Cape Cod was where he died. He died on a Christmas Eve. You probably know that, too. My sister Angela tells me I used to play with little toy trucks for hours, making motor sounds, going 'burton, burton, burton' all the time. So I guess I was going 'burton, burton, burton,' on the day of the bomb; and Father was in his study, playing with a loop of string.
Maybe you can use it somewhere in your book. Father took the string from around the manuscript of a novel that a man in prison had sent him. There was a big sex orgy when everybody knew that the world was going to end, and then Jesus Christ Himself appeared ten seconds before the bomb went off.
The name of the author was Marvin Sharpe Holderness, and he told Father in a covering letter that he was in prison for killing his own brother. He sent the manuscript to Father because he couldn't figure out what kind of explosives to put in the bomb.
He thought maybe Father could make suggestions. We had it around the house for years. My brother Frank made it his personal property, on account of the dirty parts. Frank kept it hidden in what he called his 'wall safe' in his bedroom. Actually, it wasn't a safe but just an old stove flue with a tin lid.
Frank and I must have read the orgy part a thousand times when we were kids. We had it for years, and then my sister Angela found it. She read it and said it was nothing but a piece of dirty rotten filth. She burned it up, and the string with it.
She was a mother to Frank and me, because our real mother died when I was born. I don't think he ever read a novel or even a short story in his whole life, or at least not since he was a little boy.
He didn't read his mail or magazines or newspapers, either. I suppose he read a lot of technical journals, but to tell you the truth, I can't remember my father reading anything. That was the way he was. Nobody could predict what he was going to be interested in next. On the day of the bomb it was string.
This is the whole speech: I stand before you now because I never stopped dawdling like an eight-year-old on a spring morning on his way to school. Anything can make me stop and look and wonder, and sometimes learn.
I am a very happy man. Thank you. His fingers made the string figure called a 'cat's cradle. His father was a tailor, you know, so there must have been thread and string around all the time when Father was a boy. He had no use at all for tricks and games and rules that other people made up. He all of a sudden came out of his study and did something he'd never done before.
He tried to play with me. Not only had he never played with me before; he had hardly ever even spoken to me.
See the cat's cradle? See where the nice pussycat sleeps? His ears and nostrils were stuffed with hair. Cigar smoke made him smell like the mouth of Hell. So close up, my father was the ugliest thing I had ever seen. I dream about it all the time. If the bough breaks, the cray-dull will fall. Down will come craydull, catsy and all. I jumped up and I ran out of the house as fast as I could go. It's after two in the morning.
My roommate just woke up and complained about the noise from the typewriter. He resumed it as follows: Here I go again, fresh as a daisy after eight hours of sleep. The fraternity house is very quiet now. Everybody is in class but me. I'm a very privileged character. I don't have to go to class any more. I was flunked out last week.
I was a pre-med. They were right to flunk me out. I would have made a lousy doctor. Or if the sun comes out, maybe I'll go for a walk through one of the gorges. Aren't the gorges beautiful? This year, two girls jumped into one holding hands. They didn't get into the sorority they wanted.
They wanted Tri-Delt. My sister Angela has told me many times that I really hurt my father that day when I wouldn't admire the cat's cradle, when I wouldn't stay there on the carpet with my father and listen to him sing. Maybe I did hurt him, but I don't think I could have hurt him much. He was one of the best-protected human beings who ever lived. People couldn't get at him because he just wasn't interested in people. I remember one time, about a year before he died, I tried to get him to tell me something about my mother.
He couldn't remember anything about her. Mother cooked a big breakfast. And then, when she cleared off the table, she found a quarter and a dime and three pennies by Father's coffee cup.
He'd tipped her. I didn't know where I was going until I found my brother Frank under a big spiraea bush. Frank was twelve then, and I wasn't surprised to find him under there. He spent a lot of time under there on hot days.
Just like a dog, he'd make a hollow in the cool earth all around the roots. And you never could tell what Frank would have under the bush with him. One time he had a dirty book. Another time he had a bottle of cooking sherry. What he was doing was spooning different kinds of bugs into the jar and making them fight. I can't remember what all Frank had fighting in the jar that day, but I can remember other bug fights we staged later on: They won't fight unless you keep shaking the jar.
And that's what Frank was doing, shaking, shaking, the jar. She lifted up one side of the bush and said, 'So there you are! He always said, 'Experimenting.
She had been the real head of the family since she was sixteen, since Mother died, since I was born. She used to talk about how she had three children--me, Frank, and Father. She wasn't exaggerating, either. I can remember cold mornings when Frank, Father, and I would be all in a line in the front hail, and Angela would be bundling us up, treating us exactly the same.
Only I was going to kindergarten; Frank was going to junior high; and Father. I remember one morning like that when the oil burner had quit, the pipes were frozen, and the car wouldn't start. We all sat there in the car while Angela kept pushing the starter until the battery was dead. And then Father spoke up. You know what he said? He said, 'I wonder about turtles. Angela asked him.
Maybe you can use it. After the turtle incident, Father got so interested in turtles that he stopped working on the atom bomb. Some people from the Manhattan Project finally came out to the house to ask Angela what to do. She told them to take away Father's turtles. So one night they went into his laboratory and stole the turtles and the aquarium. Father never said a word about the disappearance of the turtles. He just came to work the next day and looked for things to play with and think about, and everything there was to play with and think about had something to do with the bomb.
I just kept saying over and over again how ugly he was, how much I hated him. So she slapped me. He won the war today! Do you realize that? He won the war! Father was all she had. She didn't have any boy friends.
She didn't have any friends at all. She had only one hobby. She played the clarinet. It hurt her something awful. She fell down and she rolled around. When she got her wind back, she cried and she yelled for Father. Frank was right. Father stuck his head out a window, and he looked at Angela and me rolling on the ground, bawling, and Frank standing over us, laughing.
The old man pulled his head indoors again, and never asked later what all the fuss had been about. People weren't his specialty. Is that any help to your book? Of course, you've really tied me down, asking me to stick to the day of the bomb. There are lots of other good anecdotes about the bomb and Father, from other days. For instance, do you know the story about Father on the day they first tested a bomb out at Alamogordo?
After the thing went off, after it was a sure thing that America could wipe out a city with just one bomb, a scientist turned to Father and said, 'Science has now known sin.
He said, 'What is Si n? I can't sign myself 'Fraternally yours' because they won't let me be your brother on account of my grades. I was only a pledge, and now they are going to take even that away from me. You call our family 'illustrious,' and I think you would maybe be making a mistake if you called it that in your book. I am a midget, for i nstance--four feet tall.
And the last we heard of my brother Frank, he was wanted by the Florida police, the F. So I'm pretty sure 'illustrious' isn't quite the word you're after. Twenty-four hours later. I have reread this letter and I can see where somebody might get the impression that I don't do anything but sit around and remember sad things and pity myself.
Actually, I am a very lucky person and I know it. I am about to marry a wonderful little girl. There is love enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look. I am proof of that. But about two weeks after he wrote to me everybody in the country knew that her name was Zinka--plain Zinka. Apparently she didn't have a last name. Zinka was a Ukrainian midget, a dancer with the Borzoi Dance Company.
As it happened, Newt saw a performance by that company in Indianapolis, before he went to Cornell. And then the company danced at Cornell. When the Cornell performance was over, little Newt was outside the stage door with a dozen long-stemmed American Beauty roses. The newspapers picked up the story when little Zinka asked for political asylum in the United States, and then she and little Newt disappeared.
One week after that, little Zinka presented herself at the Russian Embassy. She said Americans were too materialistic.
She said she wanted to go back home. Newt took shelter in his sister's house in Indianapolis. He gave one brief statement to the press. I have no regrets. What happened is nobody's business but Zinka 's and my own. She was forty-two--ol d enough to be Newt's mother. About a year later, two days before Christmas, another story carried me through Ilium, New York, where Dr.
Felix Hoenikker had done most of his work; where little Newt, Frank, and Angela had spent their formative years.
I stopped off in Ilium to see what I could see. There were no live Hoenikkers left in Ilium, but there were plenty of people who claimed to have known well the old man and his three peculiar children. I made an appointment with Dr. I suppose Dr. Hoenikker's supervisor during most of his professional life," I said to Dr. Breed on the telephone. The man was a force of nature no mortal could possibly control. Breed made an appointment with me for early the next morning.
He would pick me up at my hotel on his way to work, he said, thus simplifying my entry into the heavily-guarded Research Laboratory. So I had a night to kill in Ilium. I was already in the beginning and end of night life in Ilium, the Del Prado Hotel. Its bar, the Cape Cod Room, was a hangout for whores.
The whore, who said her name was Sandra, offered me delights unobtainable outside of Place Pigalle and Port Said.
I said I wasn't interested, and she was bright enough to say that she wasn't really interested either. As things turned out, we had both overestimated our apathies, but not by much.
Before we took the measure of each other's passions, however, we talked about Frank Hoenikker, and we talked about the old man, and we talked a little about Asa Breed, and we talked about the General Forge and Foundry Company, and we talked about the Pope and birth control, about Hitler and the lews. We talked about phonies.
We talked about truth. We talked about gangsters; we talked about business. We talked about the nice poor people who went to the electric chair; and we talked about the rich bastards who didn't.
We talked about religious people who had perversions. We talked about a lot of things. We got drunk. The bartender was very nice to Sandra. He liked her. He respected her. Every class, he explained, got to pick distinctive colors for itself in its junior year, and then it got to wear those colors with pride. I don't think he ever even talked to a girl.
We used to call him Secret Agent X Hoeni kker--the old man. Breed, the one you're gonna see tomorrow, he showed up, all out of breath, and he gave some kind of talk. She didn't see anything funny in that.
She was remembering a lesson that had impressed her. She was repeating it gropingly, dutifully. He said if everybody would study science more, there wouldn't be all the trouble there was. He scratched his head and frowned. When he heard that I was writing a book about the day of the bomb, he told me what the day had been like for him, what the day had been like in the very bar in which we sat.
He had a W. Fields twang and a nose like a prize strawberry. It was called the Navajo Tepee in those days. Had Indian blankets and cow skulls on the walls. Had little tom-toms on the tables. People were supposed to beat on the tom-toms when they wanted service. They tried to get me to wear a war bonnet, but I wouldn't do it. Before that it was the Pompeii Room, with busted plaster all over the place; but no matter what they call the room, they never change the fugging light fixtures.
Never changed the fugging people who come in or the fugging town outside, either. The day they dropped Hoenikker's fugging bomb on the Japanese a bum came in and tried to scrounge a drink. He wanted me to give him a drink on account of the world was coming to an end. So I mixed him an 'End of the World Delight. Said he didn't want to help politicians with their fugging wars anymore. Name was Breed. I asked him if he was any relation to the boss of the fugging Research Laboratory.
He said he fugging well was. Said he was the boss of the Research Laboratory's fugging son. It was early morning. I was riding in the Lincoln sedan of Dr. Asa Breed. I was vaguely ill, still a little drunk from the night before. Breed was driving.
Tracks of a long-abandoned trolley system kept catching the wheels of his car. Breed was a pink old man, very prosperous, beautifully dressed. His manner was civilized, optimistic, capable, serene. I, by contrast, felt bristly, diseased, cynical.
I had spent the night with Sandra. My soul seemed as foul as smoke from burning cat fur. I thought the worst of everyone, and I knew some pretty sordid things about Dr. Asa Breed, things Sandra had told me. Sandra told me everyone in Ilium was sure that Dr. Breed had been in love with Felix Hoenikker's wife.
She told me that most people thought Breed was the father of all three Hoenikker children. Breed suddenly asked me. Everybody's life pretty much centers around his family and his home. We have very little juvenile delinquency. That was where they held the public hangings, too, for the whole county. I've often thought somebody ought to do a book about him sometime.
George Minor Moakely. He sang a song on the scaffold. He sang a song he'd composed for the occasion. The trolley tracks had caught the wheels of Dr. Breed's glossy Lincoln again. I asked Dr. Breed how many people were trying to reach the General Forge and Foundry Company by eight o'clock, and he told me thirty thousand. Policemen in yellow raincapes were at every intersection, contradicting with their white-gloved hands what the stop-and-go signs said.
The stop-and-go signs, garish ghosts in the sleet, went through their irrelevant tomfoolery again and again, telling the glacier of automobiles what to do. Green meant go. Red meant stop. Orange meant change and caution. Breed told me that Dr. Hoenikker, as a very young man, had simply abandoned his car in Ilium traffic one morning.
It had little cut-glass vases on the doorposts, and Felix's wife used to put fresh flowers in the vases every morning. And there that car was in the middle of traffic. They knew whose car it was, and they called up Felix, and they told him very politely where his car could be picked up.
Felix told them they could keep it, that he didn't want it any more. They called up his wife, and she came and got the Marmon.
Breed licked his lips, and he got a faraway look, and he said the name of the woman, of the woman so long dead, again. She got into a bad wreck on the way home. It did something to her pelvis Breed closed his eyes and tightened his hands on the steering wheel. Breed put his car. Breed how many people worked for the Research Laboratory.
The other six hundred are all housekeepers in one way or another, and I am the chiefest housekeeper of all. Breed a merry Christmas. Breed turned to peer benignly into the sea of pale pies, and identified the greeter as one Miss Francine Pefko. Miss Pefko was twenty, vacantly pretty, and healthy--a dull normal.
In honor of the dulcitude of Christmastime, Dr. Breed invited Miss Pefko to join us. He introduced her as the secretary of Dr. Nilsak Horvath. He then told me who Horvath was. I just type what he tells me to type. Breed and she was embarrassed. Her gait was affected, becoming stiff and chickenlike. Her smile was glassy, and she was ransacking her mind for something to say, finding nothing in it but used Kleenex and costume jewelry. Breed expansively, "how do you like us, now that you've been with us--how long?
Almost a year? She laughed idiotically. Breed's friendliness had blown every fuse in her nervous system. She was no longer responsible. She turned to examine Dr. Breed, looking at him with helpless reproach. She hated people who thought too much. At that moment, she struck me as an appropriate representative for almost all mankind. The fat woman's expression implied that she would go crazy on the spot if anybody did any more thinking.
Breed, "that everybody does about the same amount of thinking. Scientists simply think about things in one way, and other people think about things in others. Horvath and it's just like a foreign language. I don't think I'd understand--even if I was to go to college. And here he's maybe talking about something that's going to turn everything upside-down and inside-out like the atom bomb. Breed, "ask Dr. Horvath to explain it. He's very good at explaining.
Hoenikker used to say that any scientist who couldn't explain to an eight-year-old what he was doing was a charlatan. The building itself was of unadorned brick and rose six stories. We passed between two heavily-armed guards at the entrance. Ceremoniously, Dr. Breed put his arm around me without actually touching me, indicating to the guards that I was under his august protection and control.
I smiled at one of the guards. He did not smile back. There was nothing funny about national security, nothing at all. Breed, Miss Pefko, and I moved thoughtfully through the Laboratory's grand foyer to the elevators. Horvath to explain something sometime," said Dr. Breed to Miss Pefko. Breed agreed. The receptionist was a tall, thin girl--icy, pale.
At her crisp touch, lights twinkled, wheels turned, flasks bubbled, bells rang. They're the very antithesis of magic. Breed looked just a little peeved.
At least give us credit for that. Breed's secretary was standing on her desk in his outer office tying an accordion-pleated Christmas bell to the ceiling fixture. Breed, "we've gone six months without a fatal accident! Don't you spoil it by falling off the desk! I suppose she had served Dr. Breed for almost all his life, and her life, too. She laughed. And, even if I did fall, Christmas angels would catch me.
Miss Faust pulled one. It unfolded stickily and became a long banner with a message written on it. Breed, "pull it the rest of the way and tack the end to the bulletin board.
Breed obeyed, stepping back to read the banner's message. Miss Faust stepped down from her desk with the other tendril, unfolding it. Breed, "they've dehydrated Christmas! The place looks festive, very festive. Breed touched his forehead, dismayed by his forgetfulness. It slipped my mind. Breed and his chocolate bars for the Girl Pool at Christmas. Once a year the girls left their cloister of cement block to go a-carol i ng--to get their chocolate bars from Dr.
Breed testified, "even though they may not understand a word of it. God bless them, every one! Breed's inner office, I attempted to put my thoughts in order for a sensible interview. I found that my mental health had not improved. And, when I started to ask Dr. Breed questions about the day of the bomb, I found that the public-relations centers of my brain had been suffocated by booze and burning cat fur.
Every question I asked implied that the creators of the atomic bomb had been criminal accessories to murder most foul. Breed was astonished, and then he got very sore. He drew back from me and he grumbled, "I gather you don't like scientists very much. I thought that what you were after was a fair, objective biography of Felix Hoeni kker--certai nly as significant a task as a young writer could assign himself in this day and age.
But no, you come here with preconceived notions, about mad scientists. Where did you ever get such ideas? From the funny papers? Hoenikker's son, to name one source. I had little Newt's letter with me, and I showed it to him. Breed, reading Newt's letter and frowning. I hate to disappoint you, but scientists have children just like anybody else's children.
Breed, to convince him that I was really interested in an accurate portrait of Dr. Newt's letter was just a beginning, and I'll balance off against it whatever you can tell me. Everybody talks about research and practically nobody in this country's doing it.
We're one of the few companies that actually hires men to do pure research. When most other companies brag about their research, they're talking about industrial hack technicians who wear white coats, work out of cookbooks, and dream up an improved windshield wiper for next year's Oldsmobile. New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.
Breed, "that nobody in this Laboratory is ever told what to work on? His head is full of projects of his own, and that's the way we want it. Admirals and generals in particular. They looked upon him as a sort of magician who could make America invincible with a wave of his wand. They brought all kinds of crackpot schemes up here--still do. The only thing wrong with the schemes is that, given our present state of knowledge, the schemes won't work. Scientists on the order of Dr.
Hoenikker are supposed to fill the little gaps. I remember, shortly before Felix died, there was a Marine general who was hounding him to do something about mud. No more mud. Not only were the Marines sick of mud, they were sick of carrying cumbersome objects. Hoenikker say? Breed banged his speckled old fist on the desk. The desk was a kidney-shaped, sea green steel affair.
According to Felix, one Marine could carry enough of the stuff to do that under the nail of his little finger. To Felix, in his playful way, it was entirely possible.
The miracle of Felix--and I sincerely hope you'll put this in your book somewhere--was that he always approached old puzzles as though they were brand new. Hoenikker could never have explained to me how something that could be carried under a fingernail could make a swamp as solid as your desk. Breed, "and I'm sure I can explain it to you. The puzzle is how to get Marines out of the mud--right?
Breed, "listen carefully. Here we go.
Breed said to me, "in which certain liquids can crystal 1 i ze--can f reeze--several ways in which their atoms can stack and lock in an orderly, rigid way. The crystals were useful in certain manufacturing operations, he said.
But one day the factory discovered that the crystals it was growing no longer had the properties desired. The atoms had begun to stack and lock--to freeze--in different fashion. The liquid that was crystallizing hadn't changed, but the crystals it was forming were, as far as industrial applications went, pure junk.
How this had come about was a mystery. The theoretical villain, however, was what Dr. Breed called "a seed. The seed, which had come from God-only-knows-where , taught the atoms the novel way in which to stack and lock, to crystallize, to freeze.
And he helped me to see that the pattern of the bottom layers of cannonballs or of oranges determined how each subsequent layer would stack and lock. Breed, enjoying himself, "that there were many possible.
Breed was interrupted by whispers in his outer office, whispers loud and portentous. They were the sounds of the Girl Pool. The girls were preparing to sing in the outer office. And they did sing, as Dr. Breed and I appeared in the doorway. Each of about a hundred girls had made herself into a choi rgi rl by putting on a collar of white bond paper, secured by a paper clip. They sang beautifully. I was surprised and mawkishly heartbroken.
I am always moved by that seldom-used treasure, the sweetness with which most girls can sing. The girls sang "0 Little Town of Bethlehem. Breed, with the help of Miss Faust, had passed out the Christmas chocolate bars to the girls, we returned to his office.
There, he said to me, "Where were we? Oh yes! If that Marine threw that seed into the nearest puddle Breed, losing patience with me again. What the Marine general who was hounding him about "Felix ate alone here in the cafeteria every day. It was a rule that no one was to sit with him, to interrupt his chain of thought.
But the Marine general barged in, pulled up a chair, and started talking about mud. What I've told you was Felix's offhand reply. Breed hotly. And, if you'd been listening to what I've been trying to tell you about pure research men, you wouldn't ask such a question! Pure research men work on what fascinates them, not on what fascinates other people. I've made the only point I wanted to make with the swamp. I tell you again, it does not exist! And the end of the interview, too! Breed was mistaken about at least one thing: He did it without anyone's realizing what he was doing.
He did it without leaving records of what he'd done. True, elaborate apparatus was necessary in the act of creation, but it already existed in the Research Laboratory. Hoenikker had only to go calling on Laboratory nei ghbors--borrowi ng this and that, making a winsome neighborhood nuisance of himsel f--unti 1 , so to speak, he had baked his last batch of browni es. It was blue-white. It had a melting point of one-hundred-fourteen-point-four-degrees Fahrenheit. Felix Hoenikker had put the chip in a little bottle; and he put the bottle in his jacket.
And he had gone to his cottage on Cape Cod with his three children, there intending to celebrate Christmas. Angela had been thirty-four. Frank had been twenty-four. Little Newt had been eighteen. It is souls and not bodies that revolve. As Bokonon invites us to si ng: Around and around and around we spin, With feet of lead and wings of tin. And I am almost certain that while I was talking to Dr.
While I was talking to Dr. After my unpleasant interview with Dr. Her orders were to show me to the door. I prevailed upon her, however, to show me the laboratory of the late Dr Hoenikker first.
En route, I asked her how well she had known Dr. She gave me a frank and interesting reply, and a piquant smile to go with it. I mean, when most peopie talk about knowing somebody a lot or a little, they're talking about secrets they've been told or haven't been told.
They're talking about intimate things, family things, love things," that nice old lady said to me. Hoenikker had all those things in his life, the way every living person has to, but they weren't the main things with him. Breed keeps telling me the main thing with Dr. Hoenikker was truth. I just have trouble understanding how truth, all by itself, could be enough for a person. Felix Hoenikker one of the fictitious creators and his interactions with Dr.
John travels to the research laboratory of the General Forge and Foundry Company in Ilium, seeking to interview colleagues of the deceased scientist. He finds that Ilium remembers Dr. John ultimately connects with Dr. Ice Nine freezes any water it touches and has the potential to turn Earth into an ice crystal. Point of view, likewise, affords another interesting avenue into an analysis of the book because John draws his narrative from the points of view of others. The novel touches on issues of marriage, child rearing, social activism, war, interpersonal relationships, suicide, religion and many other social issues.
By creating a fictitious religion — Bokononism — and making it one of the central elements of the novel, Vonnegut forces readers to examine the parallels of this faux religion with real ones.
The questions this religion seeks to answer are the same with which mainstream religions struggle. At its most basic, the text will augment a study of the people and events surrounding the dropping of the atomic bombs during World War II. The work also leads naturally to discussions of historical events such as nuclear proliferation, government secret-keeping, the revolutions of Haiti, etc. By what two names does the narrator refer to himself?
What is the title of the book which the narrator intends to write? What is its intended subject matter? What is a karass? With whom does John begin his research for the book? Newt conveys his memories of his family on the day the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima. Hoenikker making on the day the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima? Who are the other members of Dr. What are they doing on the day the bomb fell? Who is Zinka?
Hoenikker spent his working life. John meets and interviews several townspeople about the Hoenikkers. Who is Dr. Asa Breed? Who is Secret Agent X-9? What is the significance of this description? Who is Emily? What is her connection to Dr. What type of work goes on at General Forge and Foundry?
What is Ice Nine? How did Ice Nine come to be created? What is a Wampeter? He sees Dr. What do each of the following characters reveal about the Hoenikkers? What photographs does John find in Dr. What does John discover about Dr. What do readers learn about Emily Hoenikker in this section?
What name is on the pedestal of the angel grave marker? Why is Franklin Hoenikker wanted by law enforcement?
Who is Sherman Krebbs and what is his relationship to John? Assigned to write an article about the island republic, John sets off on the plane ride that occupies these chapters.
He meets the new ambassador to San Lorenzo and his wife the Mintons and an American businessman and his wife H. Lowe Crosby and Hazel. In these chapters readers learn the history of San Lorenzo. Identify these characters: Lowe and Hazel Crosby How does John encounter Franklin Hoenikker? Describe San Lorenzo as the Sunday Times describes it. How did Franklin Hoenikker become associated with San Lorenzo? What about San Lorenzo appeals to H.
Lowe Crosby? Who wrote a history of San Lorenzo? Identify the following characters: What does John learn from Angela about Dr. About her life before and after Dr. What major event does John say that Angela leaves out of her story? Describe the realities of San Lorenzo. What two areas do they choose to address in order to achieve this goal? What do the signs at the airport forbid?
What is unique about the crowd, band, dogs, and even infants of the San Lorenzans who greet John? Who is to be the next president of San Lorenzo? What does Mona do to the pilot?