The Importance Of Art In Cat's Cradle

Kennedy 1
Jasmine Kennedy
Writing 121
Period 5

The Imitation "What is behind your eyes holds more power than what is in front of them" (Gary Zukav). What one might see, physically, hold less influence on life than one 's perception. In his novel, Cat’s Cradle, Vonnegut uses art to show his readers how it can hide the truth, show the meaning in life, and how everyone perceives things differently. Sometimes life imitates that of art. "That was one of Hoenikker’s hobbies”, said Faust, “What was?" "Photographing how cannonballs are stacked on different courthouse lawns. Apparently how they 've got them stacked in that picture is very unusual"(57). Oftentimes, life imitates art, in its positives, but also in its detriments.
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Vonnegut writes, "Father needs some kind of book to read to people who are dying or in terrible pain. I don 't suppose you 've written anything like that"(153). In Cat’s Cradle, art is medicine for the terminal, but, excluding health, life is an inescapable terminal condition for all. There are only two directions to take; up or down. Vonnegut uses art to portray life as not something to fear or slide by, but to revel in, like one does with art. Art has the power to alter one 's perception of reality and life. This jeopardizes the literal truth that life harbors. Vonnegut writes, "Well if you ever do do that book, you better make my father a saint, because that 's what he was"(112). Arts lies can influence how people view reality. Angela 's proposal to John suggest that John has the power within his piece of literature, to shift and alter Hoenikker’s persona into whatever he wants. Often times people underestimate the effect of art on the minds of human logic and opinion. Not only does art deter people from their path of logic, but it can predict what path humanity will take. Vonnegut writes, “the novel was about the end of the world in the year 2000, and the name of the book was 2000 A.D. it told about how mad scientists made a terrific bomb that wiped out the whole world"(9). This book in Vonnegut 's novel, foreshadows the inevitable deadly effect that …show more content…
Every human 's thought process is so different, and when combined with art, there are an uncountable amount of opinions, perceptions and views of one piece. Vonnegut writes, "I don 't think it 's very nice," Angela complained. "I think it 's ugly, but I don 't know anything about modern art. Sometimes I wish Newt would take some lessons, so he could know for sure if he was doing something or not"(168). Angela cannot see that there is no right way to “do” art. Like life, art has many different perceptions and paths to take. Angela cannot understand that the beauty of art is not that one is able to understand it fully, but that one cannot, therefore contemplating the meaning of everything, promoting a constant personal growth. Vonnegut writes, “ I was grateful to Newt for calling it to my attention, for the quotation captured in a couplet the paradox of Bokononist thought, the heartbreaking necessity of lying about reality, and the heartbreaking impossibility of lying about it” (284). Newt and Jonah are on their way to get some paint for Newt to use, amidst the end of the world. Art and the Bokononist religion, shows that though a realistic view is often necessary, in times of an unchanging path, reality is not what saves, but art and its many

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