Saturday, October 4, 2014

Welcome to the Monkey House

I feel like the big idea here is Morality vs Nature. How they work together and where they come into conflict. What in nature defines morality? If not from nature then where do we derive our ideas on morality and does it really make sense? Vonnegut cites religion as the source of conventional morality, where the invention of the ethical birth control was inspired by what Nation saw as natures slight against God. I like how it was named "ethical" too, since a lot of denominations of Christianity have firm stances against birth control preventing the body from getting pregnant, instead "ethical" birth control doesn't affect the actual reproductive system, but removes the actual desire to have sex. But Billy the Poet has the opposite stance on the issue, he almost sees the devotion to God as a slight against nature. People are designed to have sex, it's part of how we were designed and therefore we shouldn't deny it to ourselves. It's almost a warning to a new everchanging world about the dangers of  looking to older and more traditional sources to solve new world problems. God and religion don't quite have the same place in society that they once did and trying to apply outdated means to solve the problems of the modern society causes meshing problems. By Billys last message about "welcome to the monkey house," Billy is implying that we're not above the rest of the animals that inhabit the planet, that all of humanity is just another animal with base instincts. That the Nothingheads are just appealing to nature instead of what they see as an obsolete system of morality. I just really found this whole world interesting, and they two different views of how to solve the same problem. It reminded me a lot of Ferenheit 451 in how it used this kind of specific futuristic scifi to explore more current social issues.


  1. I also thought that using the word ethical was interesting but I thought that Billy the poet was advocating not just the sexual act. Tthe poem mentioned at the end reveals to me that Billy is a romantic and he is trying to get the human race back to making connections and caring for one another.

  2. I see Billy the Poet trying to get people to realize how the government is trying to control the way society should live their lives from sex and reproduction with the birth control pill and the use of ethical suicide parlors. I do find the use of the word ethical interesting myself. Is the use of suicide for population control really ethical?