Study Guide

Cat's Cradle Chapter 34

By Kurt Vonnegut

Chapter 34


  • Vin-dit (n): "a sudden, very personal shove in the direction of Bokononism" (34.1).
  • Just one more entry in the Vonnegut dictionary.
  • John brings up the vin-dit because it has to do with the stone angel, and the cab driver wanting it for his mother's grave so badly.
  • Meanwhile, Marvin is still fuming over Hoenikker.
  • He mentions that Emily married him because his mind was tuned to "the music of the stars" (34.6). He doesn't think too highly of this reason, or as he puts it, "Crap" (34.6).
  • Then Marvin grinds the conversation gears, and he's off talking about Frank. Last time he saw Frank, the kid was walking away from his father's funeral where he got into a car and was gone.
  • John mentions he heard Frank was a wanted criminal, but Marvin shrugs off the comment. A kid like Frank spent all his time in model shops. Not exactly criminal material.
  • Well, since he's getting the up-to-date on the Hoenikkers, John asks about Newt too. Newt, Marvin guesses, moved in with his sister after the Zinka affair.
  • In another bid to smear Dr. Hoenikker's name, Marvin also says Angela was yanked out of school so she could take care of her father.
  • Confused by all this gossip? Here's the gist: there is no love lost between Marvin and Dr. Hoenikker.
  • The cab driver asks again about the price of the stone angel, and Marvin protests (again) that it's not for sale.
  • Not to be deterred, the cab driver wonders if there is anyone who can do such quality work for him.
  • How about Marvin's nephew? He's the very same Breed who walked into the bar the day of Hiroshima after quitting General Forge.
  • Turns out, he took up tombstone carving instead.
  • As for that stone angel, Marvin tells its story (boy, this Marvin guy sure is one for the history lessons, isn't he?). A German immigrant ordered it for his wife but was robbed before he could pay for it.
  • Marvin can't use it either because it has an odd name engraved into it. He thinks it's something foreign, but John tells him he's wrong.
  • How does he know? It's his last name. Da-da-DUM.