Cat's Cradle Satire Analysis

974 Words4 Pages
The definition of satire is a work that ridicules its subjects through the use of four techniques such as exaggeration, reversal, incongruity, and parody in order to make a comment or criticism about it. The book Cat’s Cradle is a great example of satire being portrayed.
In Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle, he creates his own religion “Bokononism” to satirize all of the other religions that are in the world. Bokononism is made from and built on lies (foma). Vonnegut tells us, “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”, (Vonnegut 172). Bokononism is outlined in The Books of Bokonon. Bokononists believe that good societies can only be
…show more content…
This is because most religions have some sort of holy text. Judaism has the Torah, Christianity has the Bible, Islam has the Koran, and Hinduism has the Shrutí. The Books of Bokonon are just one way in which Vonnegut satirizes religion and religious themes. Science takes the opposite opinion. One of the men who helped create the atomic bomb tells us, “The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become,” (Vonnegut 41). Using satire in the form of self-destruction in the story, is the Bokonists practice of Boko-maru. Boko-maru is “the Bokononist ritual, or the mingling of awareness,” (Vonnegut 158). This is a very pointless part of the religion that seems to be based on nothing at all. Bokononism says “it is impossible to be sole-to-sole with another person without loving the person, provided the feet of both persons are clean and nicely tended,” (Vonnegut 158). The author is being sarcastic because a Boko-maru comes from a religion that is essentially a pack of lies, but also has a feature that is strangely…show more content…
The people in San Lorenzo are destined to fail no matter what leader they have. San Lorenzo is even easy to take over, “Everyone was bound to fail, for San Lorenzo was as unproductive as an equal area in the Sahara or the Polar Icecap” (Vonnegut 133) The people who live in San Lorenzo have very little money and resources, do not have very much to eat, and do not have a lot of motivation left, "Johnson and McCabe had failed to raise the people from the misery and muck" (Vonnegut 133). San Lorenzo’s people are also filled with diseases, “The people of San Lorenzo had nothing but diseases, which they were at loss to treat or even name” (Vonnegut 123). All of these things lead the people of San Lorenzo, to no longer care who their leader is, because they know that it doesn’t really matter, they are going to fail anyway. The way that the people are kept alive is by trickery by the government and because of Bokonon. The story of Bokonon and his religion begins with he and the dictator of San Lorenzo governing San Lorenzo. Bokonon invents his religion “Bokononism” because he sees how sad, lonely, and hopeless the people are who live in San Lorenzo. McCabe outlaws Bokoninism and makes practicing any religion other than Christianity punished by the Hook, "Anybody caught practicing Bokononsim in San Lorenzo, will die on the Hook” (Vonnegut 134). All the people on the island are
Open Document