Main Themes of Cat's Cradle

Essay by plantationUniversity, Master's April 2004

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Published in 1963, Cat's Cradle directly reflects to the turbulent times of the United States, during post-second World War years. In Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut makes references to the scientific based system of America, in which science is the main interest of the government in the name of betterment of man. However, it does not reflect to reality, since, man has already lost his control over his life, and he is directed by science and its products, such as machines and weapons. At this point, in the novel, Vonnegut, first investigates these elements' impact on the American society, and then comes to the conclusion, which presents the non-exit situation of man in an absurdity of life. As it was mentioned before, in the "historical background of the novel" part, despite the fact that U.S. gained a world leadership after the II.W.W. with the help of the most increadable invention of the time "atomic bomb", or in other words with the help of the most destructive weapon of the time, in deed, it could not provide concensus at home, because, after the destructions and deaths, caused by atomic bomb, science began to be questioned by many, especially by youths, who challenged with their comformist middle-class families.

And their discontent led them to rebel against all Established instituations, such as values, traditions, and the system itself. Kurt Vonnegut, is also one of them, and he expresses his criticisms towards the scientific-based system of post-war America through his novels, especially, through Cat's Cradle, by putting "destructive side of the science" as a main theme of the novel, in which he portraits America, as technological, political, and spiritual wasteland, as a result of science.

First of all, in Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut underlines the reality that eventhough "science" provided a comfortable...