The Rejection Of Truth In Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut

1189 Words 5 Pages
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.

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