Study Guide

Cat's Cradle Chapter 80

By Kurt Vonnegut

Chapter 80

The Waterfall Strainers

  • After that pleasant tale, it's cocktail time. Drinks all around.
  • Angela turns into a bitter drunk. She complains that her father gave the world so much and it gave him so little. He only got a Nobel Peace Prize and twenty-eight large a year.
  • That's actually pretty good by 1960s standards. John tries to point this out, but Angela just lists the people who made more, such as movie stars and Dr. Breed.
  • Realizing that it's a lost cause, John asks Julian what he thinks happened to Newt's painting.
  • Julian guesses it and his cigar butt probably wound up in some islander's net and is being dried in the sun. It will be a pretty good catch for someone living on this poor island.
  • Angela keeps complaining, remaining oblivious to the irony. Newt suggests she go get her clarinet. After some coaxing from Julian, she agrees.
  • Newt apologizes after she goes to fetch her instrument. He notes how her husband only ever returns home once he's drunk and covered in lipstick.
  • John says he thought their marriage was a happy one. Newt only replies, "See the cat? See the cradle?" (80.32).

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