by Kurt Vonnegut
Cat's Cradle Chapter 123 Summary
Of Mice and Men
- Six months pass. No plants or animals survived ice-nine, but the frosty polymorph did preserve all the animals it killed, so they could be thawed and eaten whenever, so that's handy.
- The survivors all have their own roles. Mr. Crosby is the cook. Frank does sciency things. Newt paints while John writes. And Hazel is the designated cheerer-upper. "'No mosquitoes,'" she points out (123.4).
- She's also taken upon herself to knit an American flag despite not having the proper colored cloth or right star design.
- Frank made an automated SOS machine. It transmits night and day. No one answers.
- Hazel wonders how John's writing is coming. John says it's coming along, but he won't show it until its ready.
- Hazel and John talk of regrets.
- They both agree with the poet who said "'Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, "It might have been"'" (123.30).
- That poet, by the by, was Kurt Vonnegut. He was probably riffing on "Maud Muller" by John Greenleaf Whittier.
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