Irony And Symbolism In Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano

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The novel “Player Piano” by Kurt Vonnegut is set in a mechanized dystopian society where there is no need for human labor. The spreading mechanization creates tension between the wealthy upper-class managers and engineers who keep the machines running and the lower class whose skills and purposes have become obsolete by the machines. Vonnegut uses irony and symbolism to illustrate an engineer dealing with an identity crisis in a world where machines have taken over. Paul Proteus is an engineer whos life is perfect. He oversees one of the largest factories, has a beautiful wife, and is destined for greatness and yet he is not content with his life. He spends his time either doing nothing or drinking with the lower class. He does not know what but there is something missing in his life. When his old friend Edward Finnerty who…show more content…
He believes that people have no more purpose and that the machines are to blame. Throughout this whole time Paul is in the running for a more important job at the largest factory and all he has to do to get it is to say he wants it, but instead he creates excuses anytime the job comes up to delay the promotion until he truly understands what he wants to do. At a company outing Paul is told by his bosses that he is being fired so that he could infiltrate a secret society that is trying to take the machines down. His bosses want him to find and divulge their secrets and take them out from the inside. When Paul does join the society and has an opportunity to give them up, he does not citing that he does not know what is the right thing to do. At the same company outing right after he is told he is being fired, Paul tells his higher ups that he quits. They do not believe him and they continue on their plan and send him home until he gets into the secret society. He spends this week doing nothing but trying to determine if he should help the upper-class or merge into the

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