Kurt Vonnegut Satire

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It’s rare that a work of religious satire actually promotes faith as a whole, but that is the case in Cat’s Cradle, where Kurt Vonnegut spends more time discussing- or at the very least admitting to- the good things about faith and spirituality than he does criticizing religion. This is not to say that Vonnegut’s work is a glowing endorsement of all Gods and Holy Men- Vonnegut’s criticism of organized religion is harsh and total. All the same, the text does promote a sense of spirituality and connectivity with the world that is never contested. In short, Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle bitterly criticizes the habits and beliefs of organized religion, but stops short of criticizing (and in many ways endorses) the wide variety of good things which can…show more content…
Felix Hoenikker, the absent Father of a bomb which killed hundreds of thousands. Newt, Angela, and Frank, his children, who use his power to buy happiness, spreading Hoenikker’s legacy in the form of ice-nine destroying the world. Frank, specifically, the Father’s most successful son, cannot step up to the plate- he wants to push the presidency aside to another, refusing his own form of crown. Bokonon is a holy man in the wilderness, spreading lessons which warn against the things he says.Mona, beloved by John, is an idol to the people- an “erotic idol” (Vonnegut 120). She attempts to “make herself ugly” (Vonnegut 120) to escape her role. Dr. Schlichter von Koenigswald is a man who strives as hard as he can to redeem himself, but also an ex-Nazi. Dr. Castle makes it clear how impossible von Koenigswald’s task is, saying that if the german doctor keeps working at the present rate, “the number of people he’s saved will equal the number of people he let die- in the year 3010.” (Vonnegut 187]). Even John, the narrator, says his parents should have named him Jonah, not because of his tendency to be swallowed by whales but because “somebody or something has compelled me to be at certain places at certain times, without fail.” (Vonnegut 1). All the same, his name is John- John the Apostle, one of the original twelve disciples, outlived the rest of the Apostles in the same way Vonnegut’s John outlives the rest of the Bokononists. Through this variety of comparisons, Vonnegut satire strips away the good in religion, isolating the ritual and needless fat of organized faith to attack it more
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