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For Fate (the determinations of divine providence), Vonnegut substitutes its opposite, Fortune (chance, chaos, luck). Reversal is the novel’s governing device, and irony its master trope. Even the prose has its falls, as moments of intensity tumble, with a flick of Vonnegut’s trademark bathos, into the banal: Constant sank into a wing chair again.He had to look away from all that beauty in order to keep from bursting into tears.
He had also studied anthropology, an experience, he later said, that “confirmed my atheism, which was the faith of my fathers anyway.
Religions were exhibited and studied as the Rube Goldberg inventions I’d always thought they were.” Now machines were taking control, so we needed to pretend that something else was in control.
People want illusions, insists, and they are abjectly grateful to anyone who can offer them.
Constant is trapped on Mercury with another man, Boaz.
(Shields’s biography is badly written and none too penetrating in its literary insights, but it seems to have been thoroughly researched and is, in any case, the only one we have so far.) After a few increasingly sour years puffing nuclear power and home appliances—“Progress Is Our Most Important Product,” went the company slogan—Vonnegut decided to imagine what the future General Electric was trying to create would actually look like.
As its title suggests, describes a society in which the vast majority of people have been rendered obsolete by machines.‘Not married exactly—’ he said, ‘but bred by the Martians—like farm animals.’” The freedom is stunning.was science fiction but adhered to realistic conventions of characterization and plot development.Each knows something about the other that the other doesn’t know about himself.“Don’t you.” Rumfoord’s religion (with Constant as Christ) is called the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent.The protagonist, Malachi Constant, the richest man in the world; .” And Salo, the Tralfamadorian robot astronaut, three-eyed, three-legged, four and a half feet tall, the color of a tangerine and more human than any human.Vonnegut’s imagination would henceforth be his superpower.“It’s the ), Vonnegut knew about pushing an audience’s buttons.Later, when he taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he won his students’ reluctant allegiance by eschewing aesthetic pieties and teaching them how to grab a reader’s attention.It tells us only what we need to know, with no descriptive thickening for realism’s sake, and we are willing for that very reason to believe its unbelievabilities—because the narrator believes them, and offers them without apology.But the novel’s greatest liberties are of invention.