Study Guide

Cat's Cradle Chapter 83

By Kurt Vonnegut

Chapter 83

Dr. Schlichter von Koenigswald Approaches the Break-Even Point

  • Julian reveals that "Papa" is dying of cancer of the everything. He's also at the point where any more drugs would be just as much a death sentence as the cancer.
  • Julian must be in the revealing mood because he also mentions that McCabe killed himself. He isn't sure why but guesses that "[u]nrelieved villainy just wore him out" (83.9)
  • Angela mentions how cheery the conversation is, and Julian retorts that "these are cheerful times" (83.11).
  • John asks who "Papa's" doctor is if it's not Julian.
  • It's a man named Dr. Schlichter von Koenigswald. He was a member of the Nazi party, part of the SS, and the head doctor at Auschwitz. He's on a mission to atone for all the people he let die.
  • Julian estimates that at his present rate of saving lives that Dr. Koenigswald will break even in 3010.

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