Study Guide to Chapters 66-96 of Cat's Cradle
Indexing convention for this study guide
Each main question unit begins with a decimal number. The first number (i.e., on the left of the point) refers to the chapter of the book in which the question if anchored. The second number (i.e., to the right of the point) places the question in the entire series of questions emerging from that chapter. The third number (in parentheses) indicates the page in the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group paperback edition of the text (1988).
Thus 1.3 indicated the third question concerning Chapter 1, and 2.5 points to the fifth question in the series of questions over Chapter 2.
94.1(210): It was in the sunrise that the cetacean majesty of the highest mountain on the island, of Mount McCabe, made itself known to me. It was a fearful hump, a blue whale, with one queer stone plug on its back for a peak. In scale with a whale, the plug might have been the stump of a snapped harpoon, and it seemed so unrelated to the rest of the mountain that I asked Frank if it had been built by men.
He told me that it was a natural formation. Moreover, he declared that no man, as far as he knew, had ever been to the top of Mount McCabe.
The description and diction here is certainly striking.
The last (and maybe the first two as well) may remind us of other possible allusions weve had to elements of Herman Melvilles novel of a symbolic quest, Moby Dick:
- 1(1): Call me Jonah (echoing the opening lines of Melvilles novel: Call me Ishmael)
- 49(107): Bokonons description of his coming ashore on San Lorenzo
- 39(83): What Frank saw from his sinking pleasure craft was not cruel Fata Morgana, but the peak of Mount McCabe. (Might turn out, for Frank, to have been both? Wasnt the whale, for Ahab, a kind of Fata Morgana after all?)
Busy, busy, busy, [32(65), 79(176)]we may find ourselves thinking, of Vonnegut behind the scenes here!
Or are we just stretching things?
(But what if we were stretching things in the way folks do when they make, say, a cats cradle?)
Other parts of this Study Guide to Cat's Cradle
- SG to Chapters 1-35
- SG to Chapters 36-65
- Sg to Chapters 97-127
- SG: San Lorenzo dialect & Bokonisms: a list of first occurrences.
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This page last updated 27 February 2003 .