Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mind = Blown

I absolutely loved Kurt Vonnegut's story. Dysentopia novels are definitely my favorite genre and when it's done right it's the most facinating look into the plausable future of our current society. Sometimes we have to remember that Vonnegut wrote these stories long before modern technology. Like most Science Fiction writers such as Orson Scott Card often he predicts technology that eventually comes to be apart of our daily lives. Ender's Game has a semi iPad that the kids use every day. While there isn't a specific form of technology predicted in Welcome to the Monkey House Vonnegut makes other inferences on a plausible future. With numb genitals being a "solution" to over population and suicide buisnesses where someone wishing to die can end thier lives. This is an ideal of the future also presented in the comedy cartoon Futurama. But who's to say that this doesn't become a reality. Should someone have that choice, when to die and how to come to that ultimate ending? Should they be able to have a lovely lady read them a menu of options on their death and they pick the final moments of their life? What about for the terminally ill shouldn't people be able to decide to die with dignity rather than suffer pain and agony, needing their bed pans changed and losing all control of themselves until they are a shell and and burden to their family? Vonnegut lightly touches on this solution to population but maybe it wasn't a satire. Maybe he really thought that chosing to die in a suicide parlor was a viable option. I mean why not? It's your life, if you chose to end it shouldn't you have that right? I've always thought the same for drugs, hell make them legal, start of buisnesses where adicts can go get high, and there's a babysitter essentially to get them through the experiences, take out the criminalization and allow the choice. It's something I've always wondered about. I love the way Vonnegut thinks though, it's like he's always saying why not, why can't people just travel through time, in one novel as the narrator he eventually places himself into the story and simulatiously talks to the auidence because why not, why can't he. It's facisnating. Sometimes his writing are so-so and sometimes it's phemoninal but I promise you it's always a literary exploration and worth reading. I loved this story the tone the way it changed at the end and the mood became dark and almost sydistic. Vonnegut has a way of creating an alternate world but it's so real, it's tangible that you wonder if that is our future if we continue down a certain road. Like Pharmaceuticals, like government mandates, like criminalizing free expression and individuality. 

Is Vonnegut's work a warning or pure satire? Why does he take on such a dark tone in the end after having such light heartedness and jovial nature why change to something so deep and twisted? Was he just an obscure Sci-Fi writer or did Vonnegut see something about his current society that others didn't? 

PS. If you've never read anything else by Kurt Vonnegut please don't start with Slaughter-house Five, it's good but it's not great. I loved Breakfast of Champions, the drawings are hilarious because they're all little doodles that he does himself. I also truly think his short stories tend to be his best writing because they didn't have any overkill like in some of his novels. But I definitely recommend reading more.

1 comment:

  1. For the question you ask "is Vonnegut's writing a warning or pure satire?" I would say the answer is both. You stated earlier his way of saying "why not", and I think that's an attitude he took. This won't happen in our lifetime, so it could be just a story in that sense, but you can't say this type of situation is completely out of the question way down the road.