© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Guide Mentor

Character Role Analysis


Bokonon is the Yoda of Cat's Cradle. But unlike the wee green one, Bokonon doesn't teach or train anyone toward the path of truth or righteousness. In fact, Bokonon's entire philosophy is built around the idea of foma or lies.

For Bokonon, the truth about reality, the world, and human affairs is painful and ultimately leads to suffering. He teaches the beauty of lies instead. It's a philosophy adopted by John, his sort-of pupil. John in turn warns us at the book's beginning that everything to follow will be a lie, making Bokonon a type of mentor for us as well.