The Argument In Kurt Vonnegut's Ice-Nine

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One such argument found throughout many of Vonnegut’s works is the belief in the perversion of the advancements of science to benefit one specific group instead of humanity as a whole. Vonnegut specifically uses the invention of “ice-nine” as his method for delving into the topic. Ice-nine, an ice crystal that can cause all other types of water to immediately turn into ice-nine, was created by Felix Hoenikker for the purpose of clearing out mud for the Marines. A colleague of Dr. Hoenikker, Dr. Breed, states right before the introduction of ice-nine, to the reader, that “new knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become,” this, however, directly contradicts his next main argument which says that “they looked upon him as a sort…show more content…
I supposed you’re going to rush to market with a sensationalist story about ice-nine now. I tell you again, it does not exist!” “And the springs feeding…?” “They’d freeze, damn it!” he cried. “but if I had known that you were a member of the yellow press… I wouldn’t have wasted a minute with you” “And the rain?” “When it fell, it would freeze into hard little hobnails of ice-nine --and that would be the end of the world! And the end of the interview, too! Good bye! (Vonnegut 41). Through this particular dialogue between the two characters, Vonnegut concretely makes his point on the myopic nature of the scientific community. Dr. Breed’s reluctance to speak about the catastrophic nature of an invention such as ice-nine, as well as his ad-hominem disparagements of Jonah show the quick to anger nature when the morals of creating such an invention were questioned. The specific mention to the “yellow press,” an article or specific type of scientific journalism with sensationalized articles, shows the insecurity that Breed feels having the morals behind such experimentation questioned and works to show that even scientists are not
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