The Importance Of Religion In Cat's Cradle

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In addition to Vonnegut and his works being a means of exploring the topic of the perversion of science, Vonnegut also allows his works to express his ideals on religion. Vonnegut specifically allows his works to show how religion is a means of hope in an otherwise bleak world and also shows the blissful ignorance that it provides to the people in his books. Vonnegut does this especially in Cat’s Cradle as he creates a religion, Bokononism, within which he explores these impacts of religion, albeit in a parodic and satirical way. One of the first few lines of the book itself are lines from the Books of Bokonon which read, “Don’t be a fool! Close this book at once! It is nothing but foma!” Vonnegut, later on, explains that fomas are “lies” or “harmless untruths,” begging the reader to wonder why such a warning would be included in a religion based on real life, many of which require the utmost belief in a religious text. Elaine Wiley, a graduate of DePauw University, writes “its [speaking of Bokononism] ludicrousness furthers Vonnegut’s satirical commentary on religion as an institution” (1), a point epitomized by the very forewarning of the story. This is the very embodiment of Vonnegut’s point conveyed through his parodical writing style: all of the world’s religious texts are ones that can only be believed if they are trusted vehemently by those that abide by the scriptures. Wiley explains that “[al]though Bokononism is in itself ridiculous, it serves the same purposes
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