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09/07/2019

Opinions on my essay?

QUESTION
Opinions on my essay?
Well this isn’t necessarily an essay. But I take AP Lit. & Comp. and we have to write entries in our “reading journals” every week. I’m reading Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. I find it amazing so far. In my first journal entry, I analyze chapters one and two. It’s already been graded and I am quite pleased with the grade and my teacher’s feedback. Seemingly, I would appreciate the opinions of others as well. I enjoy writing very much and I like to consider myself a good writer for my age. I try to stay humble though, so be brutally honest folks. 🙂 Oh and feel free to comment on the book, as well, if you’ve read it! Vonnegut is a genius in my opinion.

Before Vonnegut even begins his story, he claims that nothing in his book is true. He follows this statement with the quote, “Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.” These are four, simple words but Bokonon (the writer of the quote) succeeds in making them express so much more by his use of a polysyndeton. This may all be in my own conception, but to me, the quote almost seemed somewhat Bob Marley-esque. It’s like Bokonon is suggesting a carefree lifestyle for the reader…not necessarily in an apathetic sense, but in a more “go-with-the-flow” type way.

Cat’s Cradle is written in first-person point of view. The speaker is introduced first-hand where he immediately demands to be called “Jonah”. He then proceeds to give a brief explanation of his name and his earlier lifestyle. Both of which are somewhat odd and questionable. He breaks between both explanations with, “Listen:”, before he begins to talk about when he was a “younger man”. This “listen” followed by a colon is so abrupt and demanding, making the reader know how important the next topic must be.

He then expands on the topic of religion. He states that he was once a Christian, but this was before he was aware of the “bittersweet lies of Bokonon”. Perhaps these “bittersweet lies” are related to the “foma” mentioned in the introductory quote, where Bokonon suggests to live by “harmless truths”. In the preceding paragraph, Jonah explains the Bokonian concept of a “karass”, a team amongst humanity that does God’s will without ever realizing it. His explanation on this concept was so brief and ambiguous, that I was not quite sure what to make of it.

The second chapter is titled, “Nice, nice, very nice”. Here, Jonah expands more on the “karass” concept. He says that God created the “karass” and a “karass” ignores “national, institutional, occupational, familial, and class boundaries.” I see this as an archetypal concept in that many religions claim a similar form of human acceptance.

Jonah ends the chapter with a poem from Bokonon’s “Fifty-third Calypso”. The first eight lines of the poem depict various images of different individuals that “all fit together in the same machine”. The next five lines repeat the phrase “nice, nice, very nice”, ending with the phrase, “so many people in the same device”. The poem portrays a peaceful and coexisting society. Jonah mentions that Bokonon “invites us to sing along with him”. It’s as if Jonah wants the reader to perceive that Bokonon is luring one in to this whimsical idea of an idealistic, almost utopian society.

ANSWER
I would consider you to be a very good writer for any age. And a great writer in your ability to perceive and express the profound messages such a book offers.
> In the future, it might help to find out more about the Author and style of writing, and if it references to religious views, be great to go to a local church or two and ask the priest/pastor, ministers point of view too. Just to offer you more than one view or possible meanings.

> keep up the passion for writing, maybe you should start submitting your work to contests?? Can’t hurt, and you may be surprised with intern or job offers and or even win.