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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Book Club Thu Jun 04 2009

Cat's Cradle Discussion Questions

Our next meeting is coming up this Monday, June 8. We will be talking about Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Following are some of the discussion questions I may be springing on the group:

Why does the narrator, John, start the novel by saying, "Call me Jonah"? How does his story relate to the Biblical story of Jonah?

Is John any better (more intelligent, moral, responsible, etc.) than the other characters in the novel?

Was Felix Hoenikker an evil man? Are any of the Hoenikkers evil?

Why does Vonnegut tell us about the train model Frank constructs while working at Jack's Hobby Shop? What does it say about Frank's character?

How would you describe Julian Castle? Mona? H. Lowe and Hazel Crosby? What purpose do they serve in the story?

How would you describe Bokononism?

What do you think the cat's cradle symbolizes in the novel?

Why is the book titled Cat's Cradle?

How does Vonnegut use irony throughout the novel? For example, the story of George Minor Moakley (ch. 13) or the Hundred Martyrs to Democracy.

Is humanity inevitably doomed, according to the novel? Why or why not? What are the biggest problems facing humankind?

What is Vonnegut saying about truth and lies?

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Anna / July 6, 2010 11:37 AM

I found these questions great. I run a book club as well and was looking for general discussion points. Really like these. Most other sites are for teachers and not just a group of adults in a book club. Thanks for sharing!

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