Study Guide

Cat's Cradle Chapter 9

By Kurt Vonnegut

Chapter 9

Vice-President in Charge of Volcanoes

  • A year later, another story brings John to Ilium, New York, once home to the Hoenikker family.
  • He makes an appointment with Dr. Asa Breed.
  • While on the phone, he off-handedly mentions that Dr. Breed was Dr. Hoenikker's supervisor.
  • Dr. Breed says Dr. Hoenikker was more a force of nature than a man. If he could have truly supervised the man, then he's ready to take charge of "volcanoes, the tides, and the migrations of birds and lemmings" (9.10).
  • Oh, so that's where the chapter title comes from.