The Meanings Of Life As Suggested By Vonnegut In The "Sirens Of Titan".

1631 words - 7 pages

Through the ages philosophers have attempted to answer the question of the meaning of life. Why are we here? Far off is there a god or multiple gods controlling us for some greater plan? The human race will most likely ponder this question for the remainder of (human) life on earth, but to help us out, Kurt Vonnegut has thrown his own ideas out to the feeding frenzy of philosophical criticism. Vonnegut has put his answer to the big questions out for the world to see in his book, The Sirens of Titan. The Sirens of Titan, for all its wondering, futurity, and concern with larger, abstract questions transmits a greater sense of direction and concreteness. The meaning of life is not easily answered however, and there isn't one simple answer either. The meaning of life is multi-faceted, because why would life be so long and hard at times, if life were only meant to teach a single lesson?To be free and to live as one chooses is one of the answers Vonnegut supplies to the meaning of life. The plot of the novel surrounds a man named Malachi Constant who is reputed to be the luckiest man on earth. Constant is extremely rich and powerful, and lives the life of a playboy, boozing it up and gambling with money, women, and life itself. His luck runs out however, and he takes a chance, joining a secret army on Mars, whose goal is to take over Earth. Once he gets to Mars, he is brainwashed, and almost his entire memory is erased, turning him into a mindless drone for the Martian Army. That small part of his memory that isn't cleaned out, the far corners of his brain, starts to work again, and Constant begins to notice his surroundings, and he rebels against his brainwashing, tries to be free. Every time he reaches his goal of free thought, he is discovered, and the army wipes out his memory again. Constant, who is called Unk on Mars, has his memory wiped clean seven times during his stint in the Martian Army. Whenever this happens, Constant is reminded of where a letter is hidden that Constant wrote to himself so that when he forgot who he was, all he had to do was read the letter, and Constant would remember. "Unk had written the letter to himself before having his memory cleaned out. It was literature in its finest sense, since it made Unk courageous, watchful, and secretly free" (132). This letter is Constant's freedom from the slavery of the Martian Army, where a push of a button could control the radio antenna in his head to make him march. To be free was what kept Constant going, and without it, Constant was lifeless, a mindless soldier. While Constant was on his way to Mars, he impregnates a woman by the name of Bee, and she has a son named Chrono. Late in the novel, Constant, Bee, and Chrono are reunited, and live on Titan, a moon of Jupiter. When Chrono is 17, he runs away from his parents to live with the bluebirds that live on Titan, the most admirable creatures on Titan. Every so often, Chrono would come home to his mother Bee, and spend a day in...

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