by Kurt Vonnegut
Cat's Cradle Life, Consciousness & Existence Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"The hook," [Crosby] said. "No fines, no probation, no thirty days in jail. It's the hook. The hook for stealing, for murder, for arson, for treason, for rape, for being a peeping Tom. Break a law—any damn law at all—and it's the hook. Everybody can understand that, and San Lorenzo is the best-behaved country in the world." (43.13)
Death certainly is a deterrent for crime. But is it the right deterrent? Cat's Cradle suggests the answer is no—in one of the most over-the-top ways we can imagine.
The Raven was bound for the Mediterranean, but it never got there. It lost its steering; it could only wallow helplessly or make grand, clockwise circles. It came to rest at last in the Cape Verde Islands. (49.7)
We think the Raven's trip is the novel's way of suggesting the kind of random, pathless trip all of our lives take. And, yes, this is a quote from Cat's Cradle dealing with life without resorting to death. Took us a while to find it, but we did.
"One day [Harrison] came through Ilium. I was sitting around that big old house, thinking my life was over…." (53.15)
So, we go from "Remember, you will die" to "Remember everyone else will too." Talk about your Debbie Downers.