Cat's Cradle; Tornadoes an Act of God
Vonnegut’s use of tornadoes rather than any other force of nature serves as a metaphor for cleaning up the mess that man has made - Cat's Cradle; Tornadoes an Act of God introduction. I think it coincides with the theme of human stupidity and carelessness throughout the book and that Vonnegut chose tornadoes to show God’s roll. There was no other weather change in the entire book except for the tornadoes. There was no snow, rain or hail. He never made a single comment about the sun, but found it important to include a tornado, multiple tornadoes at that, something that man cannot create. Tornadoes are an act of God.
Tornadoes are one of the most feared natural disasters and leave behind a substantial amount of damage that is often beyond repair. Mankind did their part in the destruction of the world by freezing it with ice-nine. Vonnegut used the tornadoes to finish the job. “Someday, someday, this crazy world will have to end, And our God, will take things back that He to us did lend”, is how Bokonon put it. This supports my theory of the tornadoes representing God’s will. Bokonon writes a note to the survivors telling them that it is God’s will to do away with them, and tells them it would be polite to kill themselves, and they do. The entire world was made into a thick coat of ice, and then almost everything was swept clean from the surface. The damage between the ice-nine and the tornadoes was certainly something that mankind could not ever come back from. A permanently frozen world, thousands of suicides, one female survival past breeding age and limited food is a great combination for little hope. Mankind would eventually die off and God would reclaim his land. Vonnegut placed his characters in San Lorenzo. A country that was poor and weak.
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The ice-nine destroyed the little that the people had to begin with, n then let the tornadoes wiped away the rest, completely eliminating any little chance of rebuilding even to the low stature that they were at. This really removes the reader from San Lorenzo and expands the entire world. If a country that was “worthless” to begin with is hit by this destruction and cannot even reach the “worthless” status again, then what is that to say about the more developed countries and the rest of the world? Vonnegut’s use of tornadoes has made everything worse by using them to whisk away the last hope for the
survival of mankind.
Vonnegut is using nature to destroy nature. It is God’s response to human stupidity. In the books of Bokonon, man is made of mud, which is by no coincident nature. With that being said, I think Vonnegut is using tornadoes, an act of God, to destroy the rest of his creations, which in turn, I the rest of nature. He is making mankind suffer from their mistakes before completely ridding them and starting over. Vonnegut is slowly destroying all nature. Tornadoes are an act of God that cause monstrous amounts of damage that is often beyond repair. The only choice left after a tornado is really to finish destroying what the tornado has caused, and to rebuild from the ground up. Vonnegut’s use of tornadoes rather than any other force of nature serves as a metaphor for cleaning up the mess that man has made to begin anew. The stupidity of man to create such a thing as ice-nine, and the carelessness to let it fall into so many hands, was inevitably fatal for mankind.
The tornadoes swept away what was left for mankind to possible thrive from, and left the humans that were left to suffer for their mistakes so they would eventually die off and God could begin all over again.