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Kurt Vonnegut like so many other writers before him has taken up the role of humanities critic He is a satirist His works cause us to laugh out loud at the stupidity of human behavior and then recoil in self-defense Like all satirists Vonnegut mercilessly takes aim at the unholy truths on mankind It is however his weapon and his approach that makes him stand out from all the rest His characters are insane So insane that they epitomize the very extreme of human traits It is with their insanity that he points out the insanity of human behavior that we have come to label as well sane In his novels Kurt Vonnegut uses socially irrational characters to make rational social statements In his novel Cats Cradle Kurt Vonnegut parades a circus of instability around one central sane character The narrator John is researching a book about what certain Americans were doing on the day the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima One of these individuals is Dr Felix Hoenikker the father of the atom bomb In researching him John contacts an array of characters including the Doctors disoriented children the dictator of a Caribbean island nation and the founder of an admittedly false religion The underlying theme of the novel is that of human stupidity and irresponsibility Though it tackles human idiocy in other forms as well as with mad scientists the New York Times calls it an irreverent and often highly entertaining fantasy concerning the playful irresponsibility of nuclear scientists Southern p1 Dr Felix Hoenikker like most of Vonneguts characters is not all together sane He epitomizes the mad scientist mindset that is displayed in technological advancement He has no regard for people completely indifferent to everyone including his own family When his wife died he never bothered to mark her grave with a tombstone and his teen-aged daughter a sophomore in high school had to drop out in order to
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