Cat's Cradle Character Analysis

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Religion is an instrument of faith and a means of expression. However, in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Cat’s Cradle, religion is a tool of manipulation, a series of “bittersweet lies” created by Bokonon, a martyr of the people, intended to engage the minds of the natives of San Lorenzo to divert their attention from the myriad of difficulties they encounter. Religion is not the only apparatus of distraction; characters in the novel function to assist with Bokonon’s conspiracy. Mona Aamons Monzano may appear to be a tool of oppression, however she is an instrumental part of implementing the necessary religion of Bokononism into the San Lorenzan society.
Mona retains heavy influence due to her role on the island; her devout practicing of Bokononism
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Jonah states that “‘Papa’ had adopted [Mona]…in order to mingle divinity with the harshness of his rule” (Vonnegut 140). “Divinity” retains a religious connotation; it describes an object that is holy and sacred. “Papa” believed that Mona possessed such a supernatural quality and thus found it necessary to adopt her; her “divinity” equates her to a deity in a sense. Her inclusion in “Papa” Monzano’s rule provides him with the Divine Right of Kings. The theory of the Divine Right of Kings grants political power by means of religion; it asserts that a higher deity permits kings the right to rule. However, the theory was meant to “instill obedience” and was a form of “propaganda” (The Divine Right of Kings). “Papa” is utilizing this divine right similarly; through Mona, the potential deity in this case, he is softening his “harsh” rule, the very rule instilled by Bokonon and McCabe to stifle San Lorenzo’s problems. He uses the divine right as propaganda; by having a god-like, religious figure in his rule, he is indirectly convincing the San Lorenzans that it is acceptable to practice Bokononism. Mona's character is juxtaposed with "Papa's" character for the same reason McCabe is juxtaposed with Bokonon and becomes the "tyrant" and pirate" while Bokonon becomes the "angel" and saint"; they must enforce dynamic tension in order to promote Boknononism indirectly (Vonnegut
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