Kurt Vonnegut


, Jr. is a contemporary American author whose works have been described by Richard Giannone as "comic masks covering the tragic farce that is our contemporary life" (Draper, 3784). Vonnegut's life has had a number of significant influences on his works. Influences from his personal philosophy, his life and experiences, and his family are evident elements in his works. Among his "comic masks" are three novels: Cat's Cradle, The Sirens of Titan, and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Throughout these novels, elements such as attitude, detail, narrative technique, setting, and theme can be viewed with more understanding when related to certain aspects of his life. These correlations are best ...

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personal philosophy and his ideas about the evils of technology. He states, "I am the enemy of all technological progress that threatens mankind" (Nuwer, 39). The influence of Dresden shows up in each of the novels. In Cat's Cradle, one element of his experience at Dresden that Vonnegut portrays is his fear of technology. Initially, the intention of the story is for the narrator to write about what the scientists who invented the atomic bomb were doing the day it was dropped on Hiroshima. To this effect, one of the scientists in the story said, "Science has now known sin," to which another replied, "What is sin?" (Vonnegut, Cradle, 21). The focus on technology quickly changes to a material called ice-nine, which has the ability to freeze water at room temperature. This technological breakthrough, by a scientist who worked on developing the atomic bomb, has the ability to destroy the world by freezing all its water. Even though the people with ice-nine are very careful all ...

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the end of the story, two existential ideas are developed: first that human life is incomprehensible (in this case controlled by aliens from another planet for a trivial purpose), and second that people must make a meaning for life on their own. When one character states, "The worst thing that could possibly happen. . . would be to not be used for anything by anybody," Vonnegut is suggesting that a good meaning for life might simply be to be useful (Vonnegut, Sirens, 310). The theme and plot of meaninglessness and uselessness mirror Vonnegut's experiences in the aftermath of Dresden (Amer. Lit. Bio., 301, 303-304). God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater also exhibits elements of Vonnegut's take on ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/5/2006 12:04:29 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2012
Pages: 8

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