James Wait's Downfalls in Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos

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James Wait's Rebirth from an Iron Age in Galapagos

In Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut, James Wait shows his rebirth by leaving his "Iron Age" and entering into his new "Golden Age." Galapagos portrays a group of people who travel to an island on a boat to unknowingly escape a virus that wipes out all of man kind. They now hold the job to repopulate the earth. James Wait, one of the main characters on this voyage, struggles with problems and difficulties in his life, but in the end he reaches peace and a golden happiness. James went through a corrupt childhood that helped to lead him into trouble, but by maturing without parents, James brought forth a new and better being. At one time he lived as a liar and a cheat as well as a "wanna-be" that manipulated peoples' minds and he even went so far as to not even tell his former wives his real name! James who portrays a messed up character finally realizes, before he dies, that he acted wrong and he understands his faults.

Does he die as an obtainer of a golden age or does he die as a punishment for his corrupt past? James Wait probably obtained his "Golden Age" through a rebirth he gained by slowly conforming in a three step process: Sin, Realization of Sin, and Recovery from Sin.

James Wait acted cruelly to his wives. He just wanted money and someone to converse with. Leon Trout tells us in the beginning of the book about James' marriages: "Wait had so far courted and married seventeen such persons-and then cleaned out their jewelry boxes and safe-deposit boxes and bank accounts, and disappeared."(Pg. 8) James Wait portrays his cruelness and decisiveness towards women in the story. He shows his...