The Rejection Of Truth In Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut

Great Essays
All throughout the novel, “Cat’s Cradle”, Vonnegut revolves the novel around a theme of the rejection of truth. This novel takes place on an island named San Lorenzo and was published around 1963. Around 1963, World War 2 was happening and Vonnegut had a job as an interviewer for scientists, giving him the knowledge of science for the novel. One scientist, his brother worked with, Irving Langmuir, was the model for Dr.Felix Hoenikker. Throughout the novel, a family with an inventor dad takes his experiment, Ice Nine, after he dies. The family spreads apart, but they all meet up on an island named San Lorenzo. When the leader dies, the ice-nine falls into the water and causes a new ice age. Also, a religion called Bokononism is on the island …show more content…
Felix Hoenikker invents two things that cause mass destruction. First, he helps invent the atomic bomb, while working on the Manhattan Project. Then, he invents Ice Nine, a liquid that turns water into ice at room temperature. Felix acts like these inventions are made for no harm even though they can be catastrophic. Him rejecting the truth about these inventions is why the rejection of truth is a theme for this novel. Dr. Hoenikker is asked if the atomic bomb project is a sin and he diverts the subject and says, “There are lots of good anecdotes about the bomb and Father ... For instance, do you know the story about Father on the day they first tested a bomb out at Alamogordo? After the things 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.' And do you know what Father said? He said,‘What is a sin?’”(17) With Felix saying this, he rejects the real truth that this invention, the atomic bomb, is actually a sin that will affect and kill many lives. He saw the effects first hand, but he does not accept that this invention will and could kill a huge amount people, he does not accept the truth of this situation. Felix questioning if this horrible invention is a sin, then he isn’t fully understanding or accepting of the real truth and usage of this bomb even though everyone else did: “[It] was about the end of the world in the year 2000 ... It …show more content…
This religion is created by Bokonon and was outlawed by the San Lorenzo government after Bokonon and McCabe decided to outlaw it. This religion was made for the lower social class to have something to follow and believe in, so they can escape their poor lives without having to pay the price. Bokononism follows all lies and it is said in the front cover of the book, “Don't be a fool! Close this book at once! It is nothing but foma” (265). In the story, foma is another word for lies. In the first book of Bokonon, the title page says that this religion is made out of lies and that everyone should close the book right away. But the people do not listen and they act like everything in the Book of Bokonon is the truth. The people follow it religiously, even though it is stated that everything in this book is false and made-up. The citizens of San Lorenzo reject the truth that his religion is solely made out of lies and that nothing in this ever happened. Bokonon made this up to hide the real truth from the people and to make their lives better than they are: “Truth was the enemy of the people, because the truth was so terrible, so Bokonon made it his business to provide the people with better and better lies"(172). Bokonon created this religion to hide the hard truth from the people of San Lorenzo, he wanted something to make them happy and excited, but he is just rejecting the truth of the world.

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    The frustration and sense of defeat that he faced after Stalingrad and the North African Campaign would have lured him into the trap immediately. The physicists would then present their findings, calculations, and predictions. Werner Heisenberg and his colleagues would then tell Hitler that the yield of an atomic would be the equivalent of 10 kilotons of TNT, the radiation would kill survivors, and demolish everything with just a singular bomb. Hitler would then shift his focus to defense, acquirement of materials for the weapons, and making the, ”Junkers Ju 390”, the ultimate nuke dropping craft. Germany would be capable of testing a weapon by mid-1943 and the first functioning bomb ready to be used in war would come late 1943.…

    • 1230 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The United States dropped an atomic bomb to end World War II, however, in reality, the US used this opportunity to push their own political agenda of a new democracy on the Japanese government during this vulnerable…

    • 1517 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    “Was it Necessary to Drop the Atomic Bomb to End World War II?” The United States of America was and still is one of the biggest countries in the world when it comes to power and demand. Developing such a weapon as the Atomic bomb that can scare and destroy anyone and anything, was in United States favor. But was it really necessary to use a weapon this powerful and dangerous? Yes, I think so. This essay is about my and the two professors Robert James Maddox and Tsuyoshi Hasegawa point of view; if it was necessary to drop the Atomic bombs to end the war.…

    • 1270 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When we think about killing innocent people the first names that come up to us are Osama Bin Laden with 911 and Adolf Hitler in the holocaust; however there is one person that killed innocent people by sending an atomic bomb in 1945. This person is U.S. President Harry Truman, he tough that by sending the atomic bomb the war with Japan would stop. Throughout history people wonder if the decision that President Harry Truman was the right one. Harry Truman took a barbarous decision of sending an atomic bomb against two cities of japan, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing approximately thousands of innocent people. It all started with the Manhattan Project and with a desired to end war and protect the United States.…

    • 1728 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Isolation In Education

    • 1285 Words
    • 6 Pages

    His intention was never to create a weapon of that force to be used to against humanity. However, once the bomb had been created there was way of destroying this knowledge. The scientific breakthrough he unlocked became bigger than himself leading the bombings in Japan. The creation of the atomic bomb has put a massive fear and power into humanities hand that should not…

    • 1285 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The Pros And Cons Of The Atomic Bomb

    • 1201 Words
    • 5 Pages
    • 16 Works Cited

    The scientists were servants, paid to complete what the U.S. want them to (Morley). Only a few people who worked on the bomb actually knew what they were doing with it (Thomas, 23). The scientists had to think of the morality of the subject. They believed Japan should not have to go without warning that an atomic bomb would be dropped. In the end, Japan was warned from leaflets that bombs would be dropped, but not until the city was in ruins which makes the bombing even worse.…

    • 1201 Words
    • 5 Pages
    • 16 Works Cited
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The difference between them; however, is how they present the idea of why we would use the atomic bomb in this circumstance. Document B, leaves the ending more open, letting the reader infer why we would drop the bomb. The author, a commander in the air force, would have known the true reasons, but yet again, like Truman, does not want to scare the public. He ends his argument in saying that “atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse.” He wants the reader to understand what he is saying, which is that the U.S.A. was strictly doing this to scare Soviet Russia. Document F on the other hand, written by a physicist states this fact blatantly, that we need to do this to scare the Soviet Union.…

    • 1037 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Manhattan Project was established during World War II. The federal government gave $6,000 towards research for creating an atomic bomb. In the article, The first atomic bomb test is successfully exploded, it says, “But early in 1942, with the United States now at war with the Axis powers, and fear mounting that Germany was working on its own uranium bomb, the War Department took a more active interest, and limits on resources for the project were removed.”3 This meant the War Department put aside the Manhattan Project and prioritized destroying the hydroelectric plant. At the end of World War II, Germany already surrendered and that is when the United States were successful in the Manhattan Project. $2 billion dollars were given to the research department, so they could create another atomic bomb.…

    • 1603 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    “They are pieces of wood and stone.””(Achebe 146) The Ibo people live in fear of their Gods which often gives them discipline and keeps them in order. An absence of fear, results in chaos and a society in which the people are free to do as they wish. This relates to the theme of choice and consequence as the Ibo people can make the choice to switch religion but they are uncertain about the consequences this will have on themselves and the clan. At first, when the white man talks about his God, the Ibo people believe this man is foolish and laugh at the hysterical remarks he makes. But this initial notion is changed quickly when Achebe states, “he impudent missionaries built their church in the Evil Forest.…

    • 1349 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In Simon’s journal she discussed how rules cannot change because people want to refrain from the truth. In “The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas” no matter how angry they get about the child they still understand why it exist. The child strongly represents Christ, but what if its God that walked and not the non-believers as mentioned earlier. God knew that his son was going to die when he sent him to. The ones that walked away could be God’s wrath on sinful humanity “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them”(Romans 1 18-19).…

    • 1434 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays