Study Guide

Cat's Cradle Chapter 6

By Kurt Vonnegut

Chapter 6

Bug Fights

  • But he can continue in the next chapter.
  • Newt reveals that he's technically not John's fraternity brother as Cornell kicked him to the curb for failing grades.
  • Newt's attitude is very c'est la vie about the whole thing.
  • Back to the story. So Newt's sister, Angela, says Newt hurt their father's feelings when he wouldn't play with him. Newt kind of doubts it on account that his father just wasn't interested in people.
  • One time, Dr. Hoenikker even tipped their mother for breakfast—as though he was at a restaurant.
  • Anyway, after the cat's cradle incident, Newt runs into the yard and finds his brother, Frank, playing with bugs. He's more putting them in a jar, shaking the jar, and causing the bugs to fight than playing with them.
  • Yeah, he's one of those kids.
  • Angela comes looking for them.
  • On a side note: Newt relates that Angela was like a mother to all of them, even her father. He tells the story about how their father suddenly took an interest in turtles while in the middle of the Manhattan Project.
  • When the government needed to know how to get Dr. Hoenikker back on track, Angela told them to hide the turtles. With nothing else to work on, Hoenikker went back to the bomb.
  • Aaaand back to the story. (Again.)
  • Angela slaps Newt for upsetting their father, telling him he's the man who won WWII for America.
  • Newt says he hates their father all the same and gets slapped again.
  • Frank joins in and punches his sister in the stomach.
  • Now that's some family togetherness.
  • Angela yells for her father, but Dr. Hoenikker only peeks his head out the window, sees the display, and returns to his study.
  • Newt ends the letter with one more tale. He mentions how when they were testing the bomb, one scientist told Dr. Hoenikker that now science knew sin.
  • Hoenikker merely replies, "'What is sin?'" (6.15)
  • Deep thoughts, Shmoopers.