Categories
Free Essays

Eliot Rosewater

“God bless you Mr. Rosewater” is a phrase spoken but never meant. Eliot Rosewater serves a purpose to everyone but himself within the God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater standing as a back post for the weak and merciful poor, and as an undeniable powerhouse amongst the wealthy. Eliot Rosewater is as confused about himself as all others are around him, having enough money to take care of an entire family, yet spreading the wealth amongst his community. He lives alone inside of himself, standing by the telephone day and night, waiting for a phone call.

This is what makes Eliot Rosewater the unlikely hero, he is a fool and a criminal in the minds of his father and his colleagues yet he stands as a god amongst his community, the people he cares about more than life itself. Eliot Rosewater stands out to the reader and the characters within the novel due to his lack of the one trait we all share, greed. The actions of Eliot show that he is a man that has struggled to do more than is expected of him, feeling guilt; he is a character that is struggling to make things right in a world he does not understand.

Eliot Rosewater inherits the Rosewater fortune after his father sees him fit to do so, leaving Eliot in charge while his father remains senator of Rosewater, Indiana. Rosewater begins as a man that’s apparently very intelligent but feels lost in the world that surrounds him. He sees no purpose for himself, as of this time he was not head of the Rosewater Foundation. Eliot attends schools such as Harvard during his young adult life. After graduating from Harvard, Eliot deems himself unfit to continue through the motions of society and instead enlists himself into the military.

After returning home from the war he marries a woman named Sylvia and tries to begin a new life. However, he is plagued by his responsibility for the death of a child during the war. Rosewater begins to drink while trying to maintain a life with his new love and be the head of the Rosewater Foundation. Eventually Eliot is an alcoholic and his marriage is in pieces, the only thing thriving being his foundation. Sylvia becomes obsessed with the wealth, feeling indifferent to the struggles of those less fortunate, breaks down and is told by her doctor to divorce Eliot and leave the county.

Eliot becomes a volunteer fireman and a philanthropist, struggling to help the community due to the fact that his life is in shambles. Eliot realizes that his greatest purpose in this world is to take care of his family, the community of Rosewater, Indiana. Eliot takes care of his community through actions such as donations and help money. Sleeping by a telephone, Eliot is awakened each night with a phone call from someone in distress, asking them how much it would take to keep them alive for one more week. Eliot begins to act simply for his community, often times ignoring his own needs such as hunger and thirst.

Eliot’s later actions show how he has changed as a person throughout the book, beginning life lost, he maneuvered through life without meaning or purpose. Eliot enlists in the army, showing that he feels that there is something better that he could do with his life. Eliot then lives the rest of his life in regret, hating himself for what he did to that child during the war, disconnecting himself from Sylvia and his father, hating that he can have so much money with the awful thing he did while so many of the good innocent hard working people of his community have nothing.

By Eliot giving money to the members of his community we can tell that he is truly sorry for what he has done and is seeking forgiveness for his actions, perhaps trying to pay a debt to God or even to that child. This changes him from an innocent man with no purpose in life, to a guilty man who has a debt to repay, therefore pushing his life in a direction, toward helping his community. His feelings and actions can be seen on page 193: “Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded.

At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — “God damn it, you’ve got to be kind. ” The significance of Eliot Rosewater is more than just a character, if you can call him that. Eliot Rosewater stands as a symbol, a purpose and an idea set in motion, a breathing thought. As Kurt Vonnegut says: “A sum of money is a leading character in this tale about people, just as a sum of honey might properly be a leading character in a tale about bees. “ Money stands as a leading character in the novel; Eliot simply stands as the hands that hold it.

Mr. Rosewater can’t really be put into the categories of “flat” or “static” because he simply does not act like a character within a novel should act. Eliot never shows his guilt or feelings to anyone, and instead the reader must find out about it through the narrator, Kurt Vonnegut. To the reader Eliot seems completely sane and almost appears as the hero of the tale, where as his relationship to the other characters tells a different story. Eliot stands as a radical, a man with no purpose or understanding of the cast system.

Eliot Rosewater begins with a clean slate, going nowhere in his life. He ends with a few chips on his shoulder, yet with a purpose in his life more important than any of the other characters. Rosewater gives his fortune away to his community, claiming them as his children. Eliot’s characteristics stand him apart from every other character, being the only selfless character within the entire novel. His suffering leads him to completely happiness at the climax of the novel, leaving his friends and family in with misunderstanding stares.

Categories
Free Essays

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five

Kurt Vonnegut has written something that has captured the imagination of generations. His novel is entitled “Slaughterhouse Five.” This novel has put into use what the literary world call as dark comedy, also known as black comedy. Dark comedy is basically a sub-genre of comedy that has satirical elements. This sub-genre typically tackles serious topics like death, war, rape, and the likes with wit and humor.

I have selected three scenes of which Kurt Vonnegut displayed his talent in using dark comedy to hook his readers. The first scene that I’ve picked is that where the arguable protagonists Billy Pilgrim and the unlovable fat soldier Roland Weary were captured by enemy troops.

Those enemy troops who had captured them were not regulars. They were merely using equipment collected from dead soldiers. When the novel was first read by the public, they could have just thought that this was fiction. Maybe they weren’t aware that this is a reality in war. Equipment from the dead is considered free rations since there will always be shortages in wars. What the author had done here is that with all the dark comedy packed into this novel, he had squeezed in bits of reality.

The dark comedy there is that as readers we were caught off guard that we were already laughing at something that is brutally happening in reality. It could also be that the author is in favor of stripping the dead off their possessions since those things would only be beneficial to those who are still alive.

The next dark scene that I’ve picked is where the Valencia, the overweight wife of the arguable protagonist Billy Pilgrim, died because of carbon monoxide poisoning. She was already on her way to see his husband. Then the unfortunate happened, or Kurt Vonnegut’s dark comedy made it happen, she died of carbon monoxide poisoning inside her car. The author had constructed the scene as if the death of Valencia didn’t invoke sad emotion at all. Again, I believe that the function of this is to show what is happening in reality.

We don’t need statistics to prove that there are countless wives out there who are left by their unfaithful husbands. But then, this dark humor could also be targeted to those who have eating and weight issues. The author may have wanted to show that most overweight bring the problem upon themselves because just like Valencia, they can’t stop eating. This could be the author’s answer to why are there such a number of miserable people in this planet. It is because we cause our own problems.

The last dark scene that I have chosen is when the prisoners of war were assigned to the dreadful task of digging up the graves for a lot of dead bodies after the town of Dresden was bombed. It was such an awful sight that one of those who were digging the graves threw up from the bad smell. He threw up so bad that he died. Again, there is no word that can perfectly describe the scene than dark comedy.

The author had beautifully used the elements of dark humor, wit and irony. It is such an irony that the ‘dead’ is in a sense free from the toils of being alive and stuck in a war. That scene also shows that people can be pushed to do even the things that they won’t imagine themselves doing. Anyone will succumb when there is a gun pointed to you and your loved one’s.

All in all, the author had used dark comedy as a hook that has kept his readers turning the pages. Dark comedy also evokes a certain weird combination of the effects of entertainment and disgust.

Work Cited

Vonnegut, K. Jr. Vonnegut, J. Slaughterhouse Five. NY: Tandem Classic Books. 1999.

Categories
Free Essays

Night Mother by Kurt Vonnegut

Mother Night What intrigued me the most when reading Mother Night, by Kurt Vonnegut, were the quotes. He says things in a way that really make you step back and think. You could almost tell this book??? ‚a„? s story by discussing some of the quotes. In Mother Night, apolitical expatriate American playwright Howard W. Campbell, Jr. refashions himself as a Nazi propagandist in order to pass coded messages on to the U. S. generals and preserve his marriage to a German woman??? ‚a€? their "nation of two," as he calls it. But in serving multiple masters, Campbell ends up ruining his life and becoming an unwitting inspiration to bigots. quot;We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. " Vonnegut introduces this as the moral of his book. "There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. " It’s never been more true: Left or right, Christian or Muslim, those convinced they’re doing violence in service of a higher power and against an irretrievably inhuman enemy are the most dangerous creatures of all. But is Howard really such a bad man?

All throughout reading the book, I would ask myself that question. No he doesn??? ‚a„? t seem to show much emotion, but doesn??? ‚a„? t that in a way seem understandable when you think about all he??? ‚a„? s done and seen? If he were to show emotion, he would go crazy. I know I would. Though he does seem to have a conscience, somehow, somewhere, deep down inside he is trapped. Trapped inside of the mess he??? ‚a„? s gotten himself into. I think he knows to that there is no way out, so he remains as this man he has pretended to be for so many years.

Howard writes his story from a jail cell in old Jerusalem in 1961, while awaiting a fair trial for his war crimes by the republic of Israel. He is has a different guard for different parts of the day and night. One of them is Mengel. You are the only man I ever heard of,??? ‚N? Mengel says to me this morning, ??? ‚Nswho has a bad conscience about what he did in the war. Everybody else, no matter what he did, is sure a good man could not have acted in any other way.??? ‚N? ??? ‚NsWhat makes you think I have a bad conscience???? ‚N? I said. ??? ‚NsThe way you sleep, the way you dream,??? ‚N? e said. Howard tells Mengel about New York. ??? ‚Ns ??? ‚NsNew York must be Heaven,??? ‚N? said Mengel. ??? ‚NsIt might well be for you??? ‚N? , I said. ??? ‚NsIt was Hell for me,- or not Hell, something worse then Hell.??? ‚N? ??? ‚NsWhat could be worse then Hell???? ‚N? he said. ??? ‚NsPurgatory,??? ‚N? I said. ??? ‚Ns It??? ‚a„? s interesting that he says that, because that proves right there that Howard Campbell is very aware of the crimes he??? ‚a„? s committed, the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. He knows that he is there in that cell because he is paying the price.

He must suffer for all that he has done. ??? ‚NsI was deposited on to the streets of New York, restored to the mainstream of life. I took several steps down the sidewalk when something happened. It was not guilt that froze me; I had taught myself never to feel guilt. It wasn’t the fear of death; I had taught myself to think of death as a friend. It was not the thought of being unloved that froze me; I had taught myself to do without love. What froze me was the fact that I had absolutely no reason to move in any direction. What had made me move through so many dead and pointless years was curiosity.

Now even that flickered out.??? ‚N? What a lonely life that must be, to feel you have nothing to live for. To know that all that has kept you going in the past was curiosity. Helga is dead, (or so he assumes) Resi is dead, the man he called his best friend had intentions of betraying him for so long, and now he is gone. People hate him, want to kill him, others think he is dead and are glad, and then there are those that admire him for all the terrible things he??? ‚a„? s done. Though he can??? ‚a„? t even seem to feel proud, because unlike so many others who committed such crimes as his, he is not a sociopath.

Categories
Free Essays

Kurt Vonnegut’s Cats Cradle Analysis

Ben Fisher Mr. Anderson AP Writing and Composition 1 14th November 2012 Cat’s Cradle American Author Analysis by Ben Fisher Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut is a science fiction book that was published in 1963. The book is (falsely thought to be)centered around the narrator, John, and his quest to write a book about what was happeneing with the creators of the atomic bomb the day the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. His adventure follows his travels as he meets with researchers, the children of a fictional Dr. Felix Hoenikker, and ventures to an island nation to talk to the good doctors final son.

Along this course, he explains a religion he does not yet have, as this is from a post-experience diary perspective, called Bokononism, and its practices. He gains knowledge of this religion and its creation on the island of San Lorenzo, which resolves in him becoming president. But this is a side plot of the book. The main plot, hidden in the background, is centered around a ficticious substance called Ice-Nine, with the power to freeze all the worlds oceans in the blink of an eye if it were to touch a single water source, an expression of mans’ ability to destroy the things that surround him.

Cat’s Cradle is set in an unknown year more than 20 years after August 6th, 1945. At the beginning, John visits Ilium, New York to talk to Dr. Asa Breed at General Forge and Foundry, the place in which Felix Hoenikker “worked”, which leads to his discovery of several key locations in the area. The later half is focused on the fictional Carribean island of San Lorenzo, an island nation started by Earl McCabe, a marine deserter, and Bokonon, born Lionel Boyd Johnson, who created Bokononism.

These settings leave a sense of a tight dichotomy between modern America and the Caribbean nation of San Lorenzo. Though the concept of the book within, about the bombing of Hiroshima, and a freeze frame of the events of that day, reveals a young nation holding infinite power in a vast expanse of nothingness. The concept of San Lorenzo as a country in location is central to the happenings of the book. To contrast this idea of self destruction is the concept of Bokononism, a religion outlawed on the island after being created by one of its founders.

Christianity is the official religion, but both Protestantism and Catholicism are illegal, and every single citizen of the island celebrates Bokononism even with the threat of the “hy-u-o-ook-kuh”, representing how San Lorenzan natives pronounce the Hook, a giant fish hook that a Bokononist is threatened to be speared upon if they are caught practicing Bokononism. Though this concept is really an illusory ploy created by Bokonon and McCabe, and perpetrated by the island’s leader, “Papa” Monzano, to give hope in pure foma, or harmless untruths, that form a religion that gives hope and reason instead of defining how you should live.

You exist to serve the wampeter of you karass whilst avoiding granfalloons and trying to find kan-kans that leads the creation of more sinookas that lead to a procces of vin-dits. All the while you may be bothered by stuppas and pool-pah, but when you are busy, busy, busy, you will truly understand your situation, and in your zah-mah-ki-bo, you may lead yourself to think, “Now I will destroy the whole world”. All this while, you may connect to another, boko-maru will most likely lead to you finding your path. * *Translated: In short, the book is lies.

Your life is based around serving the central theme of you group (wampeter of your karass) and avoiding intermingling into false groups (granfalloons), and finding items that help your cause (kan-kans) To create tendrils to intertwine others into your life (sinookas) causing shoves towards Bokononism (vin-dits). A fogbound child (a stuppa) or a shitstorm/the wrath of God (pool-pah) may try to mislead yourself, but eventually tou will think about the complicated and unpredictable machinery of life (busy, busy, busy) and will find your inevitable destiny (zah-mah-ki-bo) leading you to your task unknowingly.

This may end in suicide (Now I will destroy the whole world) due to the duffle placed upon a stuppa (a fate of many placed on one who knows, nor can find, nothing). The idea of boko-maru is supposed to be a very sensual experience that connects two people deeply. Though at any time, your spirit is orbiting an object of great importance, your karass around a wampeter. The person who secondhandedly introduces us to these concepts is not our protagonist. It is our narrator, a minor character in his own aspects, but the only one that is left later, though he never truly matters.

He is simply around to be an expositor of the actions of others, a minor characters sharing the traits of a protagonist. The true protagonist of the story, or which the story revolves around, is Felix Hoenikker, a fictitious addition to the Manhattan project team. He is portrayed as an odd man incapable of conventional thought or process, but able to think up and create brilliant objects in moments when presented with a problem. His mind otherwise wandered his whole life, and he was emotionless and apathetic towards anything but his work.

His children, Newton, Franklin, and Anglea, play major rolls constructing the story for the narrator, exposing themselves as as weird as their father. Their mother, Emily, plays a minor roll in the story, but a major roll in a shift in the good doctors attitude that would barely be noticed by most, including his own children. Bokonon and Earl McCabe are presented as opposing forces, one being the founder and continual contributor of Bokononism, the other of a government willing to convict those practicing to keep the concept practical.

This provides the whole concept of possibility for the ending of the book. One Julian Castle once owned the island and used it as a sugar plantation, and by all means is one of the most complex and thoughtful (see: evil/diabolical) characters in the book, running a humanitarian aid hospital in the jungle of San Lorenzo. He works alongside one Schlicter von Koenigswald, a former S. S. member that had worked in Auschwitz doing various unnamed evil tasks, now working at the Hospital of Hope and Mercy to atone for his sins.

The main characters progress in that they gain a concept of both brotherhood and false family through their karass. By the end, the narrator has gone through rage, happiness, depression, excitement, and finally, he tells himself the truth. He becomes what he once feared, but does not fear what he becomes. The revelations that bring about this change are rather odd. At the beginning, John introduces that this is a book written about the events that brought about the end of the world.

John is writing a book about the day of the dropping of the Little Boy on Hiroshima. This leads to a discussion with Dr. Asa Breed, the man who supervised Felix Hoenikker, the fictional forefather of the atomic bomb. They discuss that the good doctor was very flittery minded, and worked on whatever he felt like. Once, they asked him if he could create something to turn mud to solid ground in seconds. He said it was impossible, and Dr. Breed believed it was never created. The truth is the good Doctor created the substance, named Ice-9, in small portions.

John follows the trail to the son of Doctor Hoenikker, Newt, and his sister, Angela, a painting and a clarinetist, respectively. They all end up meeting on a flight to San Lorenzo, where John heads after learning Frank Hoenikker, the middle son of Doctor Hoenikker, had become the Major General of San Lorenzo. It is later revealed that this was achieved by using a sample of Ice-9 as a bargaining chip, trading it for the position after washing up on the shore after a shipwreck.

The separate chunks, carried by Franklin, Newton, and Angela, were created when the good Doctor, whilst on vacation at his summer home, was playing around with his original sample in his spare time. Whilst on the island, “Papa” Monzano becomes sick, and declares that Franklin will become the next president, and requests Bokononist burial rights. Franklin passes the buck on to John, asking him if he would take the position if he could marry Mona. He accepts, and plans to change the law so Bokononism may be practiced, but sees it has been outlawed such as to carry a flame of hope for all residents of the island.

As he prepares to assume the position, “Papa” Monzano kills himself declaring that he “will destroy the whole world”, and freezing himself with his sample of Ice-9. Angela, Newton, John, and Franklin attempt to destroy any samples of Ice-9 and the corpse, but during a staged bombing run, one of the planes crash into the cliffside mansion and knock his body into the water, freezing the whole world solid. John and Mona takes refuge in a chamber built by “Papa” Monzano for the same reason, and they survive to see it in wreck, tornadoes reigning supreme, the sky a blanket of everlasting storms.

Mona, upon finding most of the population frozen, tastes a small sample of the snow created by Ice-9, and dies instantly. John then happens upon the others who survived in the remains of the castle, and shortly thereafter meets Bokonon. The possible final words of the Books of Bokonon, driving the narrator subconsciously and consciously throughout the book, are well thought out, but only in the moment. “If I were a younger man, I would write a history of human tupidity; and I would climb to the top of Mount McCabe and lie down on my back with my history for a pillow; and I would take form the ground some of the blue-white poison that makes statues of men; and I would make a statue of myself, lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose at You Know Who. ” Throughout the book, constant references are made to the book within the book about the creation of the atomic bomb. Along these lines, Cats Cradle itself is an allegory about the destructive power of man when faced with an object of great potential that can be so easily mishandled.

Ice-9 represents the arms race, and is a literalization of the phrase “Cold War”. Taking the context of the stringent political atmosphere between America and Cuba/Soviet Russia at the time, Vonnegut creates the theoretical isle of San Lorenzo for the bringers of doom, much as the Americans perceived Cuba could bring about the same end in an alternative fashion. Nuclear winter makes a strong connection, along with the toxicity of the snow that is brought about, along with the changes in weather and atmosphere. I opened my eyes—and all the sea was ice-nine. The moist green earth was a blue-white pearl. The sky darkened. Borasisi, the sun, became a sickly yellow ball, tiny and cruel. The sky was filled with worms. The worms were tornadoes” (P. 151). The true severity of the arms race is also parodied by the easy manner in which “Papa” Monzano brings about the end, with just a touch of the material to his tongue, similar to how with just the touch of a button over a faulty Early Detection System, the world could be brought to Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).

Kurt Vonnegut, as he has done in many of his pieces, inserted his own consciousness to portray John, allowing him to insert his own perspective on any scene in which he is included. Though John only represents parts of his personality, and is not wholly the same. Through a combination of conversation, observation, and presentation of the conceptual ideas of this parallel reality, the exploration of practical destruction. Relevant to this information is his personal experiences in the happenings of war and the propensity of our people to complete these actions.

Today, this book is a paradoxical, if not accurate, mirror to the climate at the time. Cold and drastic, not an inch to budge or you’d get bombed to smithereens. In this way, Kurt Vonnegut challenged a major part of what was considered standard for a novel, and instead wrote what he felt would move correctly, and for that he is remembered. “In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in his cosmic loneliness.

And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done. ” And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close to mud as man sat, looked around, and spoke. “What is the purpose of all this? ” he asked politely. “Everything must have a purpose? ” asked God. “Certainly,” said man. “Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God. And He went away. ” I thought this was trash. (Pg. 153)