© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Cat's Cradle

Cat's Cradle


by Kurt Vonnegut

Cat's Cradle Fate and Free Will Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #4

"People are hated a lot of places. Claire pointed out in her letter that Americans, in being hated, were simply paying the normal penalty for being people, and that they were foolish to think they should somehow be exempted from that penalty" (45.5)

This one's an interesting take on fate and free will. Biologically, we're all fated to act like human beings on account of we're human beings. But here, the novel suggests that some people feel exempt from such fate based on social status. In this case, it's being an American—although income, education, and employment are other examples that would just as easily fit.

Quote #5

I let the book fall open where it would. As it happened, it fell open to the chapter about the island's outlawed holy man, Bokonon. (46.12)

Yet again, John sees something where there might be nothing. Yet again, again, we might be seeing nothing where there is, in fact, something. Yet again, again, again….

Quote #6

By that time Johnson had developed a conviction that something was trying to get him somewhere for some reason. (49.10)

Johnson's own story of travel and woe seems an awfully lot like the Biblical story of Jonah. Hmm, makes you wonder how the idea of Jonah got into the narrator's head all the way back in Chapter 1, huh?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...