Cat's Cradle Themes

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Keeping Secrets Often in literature, a character’s success in achieving goals depends on keeping a secret and divulging it only at the right moment in time. In Kurt Vonnegut’s, Cat’s Cradle, not only does a character keep a secret, but Bokonon, the head of Bokononism, uses his secrets to build a whole religion and society on a growing structure of lies. One of the main themes being “lying”, the book demonstrates how the keeping of secrets or, rather, a lack of truth is a necessity, as well as how the kept secrets affect the plot and contribute to the overall meaning of the work. Bokonon demonstrates how withholding truth can construct a society, destroy it, and then reveal and criticize the great faults in our own human stupidity. The novel begins by stating that nothing in the book of Bokononism is true. Bokonon built his entire religion on the concept of “foma”, otherwise known as harmless lies. He tells his followers of his lies because the truth is too unbearable for the people of his society in San Lorenzo. Since the truth seemed so terrible, Bokonon made it his business to provide the people with more and more lies. These lies created a necessary utopia for the people of San Lorenzo, as Bokonon strives to describe how man is responsible for giving life meaning, which usually it is lacking. In the world that Bokonon created, he…show more content…
He reveals that all along he has been writing the “history of human stupidity.” He exposes the humorous and deplorable faults of humanity. In his web of lies, Bokonon has the ability to say what could be considered offensive truths about the meaning of life and the irrational tendencies people have to believe all they are told. In his covert way of telling lies and truths, he discusses and criticizes political, social, and societal issues and how humanity is so blind to what is always occurring around

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