Cite This Page
 
To Go
Cat's Cradle
Cat's Cradle
by Kurt Vonnegut

Cat's Cradle Analysis

Literary Devices in Cat's Cradle

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

San Lorenzo provides the main setting of the novel, and what a setting it is. It's as if Vonnegut was trying to compact the dirtiest aspects of history and human existence and squeeze them onto a s...

Narrator Point of View

Cat's Cradle employs a first-person central narrative style to embody the heterodiegetic… Wow, sorry about that. We were momentarily possessed by the spirit of an angry English teacher. What we w...

Genre

SatireSatire openly mocks people, communities, or even entire societies. But the point isn't to act the schoolyard bully to any particular group—that shouldn't be the point at any rate. The point...

Tone

I was at a bar last night. Doesn't matter where because I'm lying. Louis C.K. The tone of Cat's Cradle is more stand-up comedy routine than traditional novel. You know how these stand-up comedy rou...

Writing Style

Cat's Cradle isn't just tonally like a stand-up comedy routine. It's even written in a style and structure that reminds one of the open-mic science. Or is it an art? Eh, both.Most stand-up comedy r...

What's Up With the Title?

First off, props to Vonnegut for one of the oddest titles on the bookshelf. A Tale of Two Cities is about two cities—London and Paris to be precise. The Great Gatsby is about a guy named Gatsby w...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

Nothing in this book is true.Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy. The Book of Bokonon 1:5At first glance, this epigraph seems unnecessary. Of course Cat's Cradle...

What's Up With the Ending?

Seriously, what's is up with the ending? When we first read it, we turned the page expecting a 128th chapter or epilogue. Nope. Our edition didn't even have a blank page, just the inside of the bac...

Tough-o-Meter

Vonnegut has an important (to him) message, and he wants everyone to be able to read his stories. So, we get very accessible prose. No miles-long paragraphs or shiny Ph.D. words to be found here. J...

Plot Analysis

Putting the "Story" in "History"The exposition of Cat's Cradle takes up a hefty portion of the book—chapters 1-59 by our best guess. See, the exposition is the part of the novel where the informa...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

If you swing over to our "Genre" section, you'll see we peg Cat's Cradle as a tragicomedy. Although it has both elements of tragedy and comedy, its plot structure is definitely that of a tragedy. T...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Researching the BookIn Cat's Cradle, John gives us all the info we need to understand the book thanks to a very convenient story-telling device: he's writing a book.Yep, John is writing a book on t...

Trivia

Everyone's a critic, and that goes double for writers. But Kurt Vonnegut turns that critical eye toward himself as often as he does the rest of the world. Case in point, Vonnegut once graded all of...

Steaminess Rating

Sex is certainly present in Cat's Cradle and not always in its classiest form. Adultery and prostitution both show up. But Vonnegut isn't porn-mongering here. Those aspects of human sexuality exist...

Allusions

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1.1)—the novel's first line references the first line of Moby-Dick.The Book of Jonah (1.1-2)—the narrator's choice of pseudonym references both the Minor Prophet Jon...

Need help with College?