Cats Cradle Essay

921 words - 4 pages

"All the things I am about to tell you are shameless lies." So begins the Books of Bokonon. Bokononism is an original religion that is introduced in this book, Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. The book shows the importance of religion, even if that religion is "shameless lies". It also displays how people convince themselves that things are better then they really are. I read this book because of a promise I made to my father. I'm glad I made that promise; I just read a delightfully funny and deep tale about the end of the world.
     The book begins with a writer named John researching for his book about the day the atomic bomb was dropped. He talks with Newt, son of Dr. Felix Hoenikker, the creator of the atomic bomb. He then goes to Illium, the town where the Hoenikkers grew up, and there he learns of ice-nine, one splinter of which could freeze all the oceans of the world. John soon discovers that Frank, the other son of Felix, is on a small island called San Lorenzo. He goes there to research more for his book. On the plane he meets Newt in person, who turns out to be a midget, and the Crosbys, a married couple. John reads a book the Crosbys give him on the plane all about the religion of Bokononism and it's customs. One custom is Bokomaru, touching the souls of feet together to grow closer. He also reads of how Bokonon, the creator of Bokononism, was outlawed.
When they arrive on San Lorenzo the President falls ill. Frank, who is going to marry the President's daughter, Mona, doesn't feel up to the job of being president so he asks John to do it. After a lot of convincing John says yes. He learns that the reason Bokonon was outlawed was to give the religious life of the people more zest, it was Bokonon's idea.
During John's inauguration, the former president dies. It soon becomes apparent that he committed suicide with a sliver of ice-nine. Frank, John, and Newt clean up the mess and go out to watch the air show. During the air show something goes wrong and a plane crashes. The explosion causes the house to tip and the president's body to fall into the sea. The ice-nine in his body freezes all the oceans of the world and causes an incredible storm. John and Mona hide in a dungeon until the storms stop. When the storms cease they rise to find that the survivors had all committed suicide with the ice-nine. Seeing this Mona does the same. John wanders the island until he finds Newt and the Crosbys, who are still alive. From then on they live on the barren...

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