* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Cat's Cradle

Cat's Cradle

by Kurt Vonnegut

Fate and Free Will Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Jonah—John—if I had been a Sam, I would have been a Jonah still—not because I have been unlucky for others, but because somebody or something has compelled me to be certain places at certain times, without fail. (1.2)

In the Bible, Jonah was fated to preach in Nineveh. When he didn't go, God made some fated course corrections to get him there. John's basically saying that the same divine roadmap was given to him.

Quote #2

As it happened—"as it was meant to happen," Bokonon would say—[…]. (10.3)

Of course, we've already been told that Bokonon's entire religion is based on foma or untruths. So, we really have to question John's reliability as an author on this one.

Quote #3

Hazel's obsession with Hoosiers around the world was a textbook example of a false karass, of a seeming team that was meaningless in terms of the ways God gets things done, a textbook example of what Bokonon calls a granfalloon. (42.42)

Facebook networks and groups are basically a textbook example of granfalloons.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search