by Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five Foolishness and Folly Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Section.Paragraph)
[The stock tickers and telephones] were simply stimulants to make the Earthlings perform vividly for the crowds at the zoo—to make them jump up and down and cheer, or gloat, or sulk, or tear their hair, to be scared shitless or to feel contented as babies in their mothers' arms. (9.27.2)
This is a passing description of one of Kilgore Trout's novels, about a man and a woman in an alien zoo who are made to perform for the amusement of the aliens thanks to a bunch of fake stock information. When they think they have made money, they celebrate; when they think they have lost money, they get depressed. But there is no real money.
This seems comparable to the deluded dreams of Roland Weary, who firmly believes he is fighting a winning battle even as he is running around behind enemy lines just waiting to become a prisoner of war. The human ability to believe something against all evidence to the contrary seems pretty foolish to us.