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cats cradle


            In the novel "Cat's Cradle" the author Kurt Vonnegut uses science as both a wonderful thing and a horrible force. There are so many different ways to use science in both good and bad it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between them both. In the book Vonnegut uses a horrific example of science to show the power of it.
             In the book a scientist named Frank Hoenikker is asked to develop a substance to make marsh land become hard, to allow soldiers to cross it easier. He then developed an ice chip called Ice Nine. The Ice Nine, when in contact with moisture, would freeze it and the melting would become 114 degrees. At first this sounded like a wonderful idea, but it would soon become a nightmare. If in the wrong hands the Ice Nine could be very dangerous and incredibly lethal. This is one good example of how science can be dangerous. .
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             Kurt ends up dying and gives his children the Ice Nine and lets them decide what to do with the chip of Ice Nine. The children end up breaking it into three pieces and, each taking a piece, go their separate ways. Each chip of Ice Nine had the power to end the world and, if it were even to come in contact with the moisture on their body they would instantly freeze and die. They would have to be extremely careful with the Ice Nine or there would be serious consequences not only to them but to the rest of the world. At the end of the book the Ice Nine had taken over the earth's water. .
             Of course Ice Nine is fictional, just made up for the purpose of this book but, it is used very well to show the dangers of mankind. I think Vonnegut uses science as a good example but I think that he is telling us how dumb we, as humans, can be sometimes. In this case a human develops something that seems like a good idea at the time but, because of poor planning, he will eventually end the world as we know it. I think if you look deeper you can see the real theme of the book.


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