In Vonnegut’s text Cat’s Cradle the game is first introduced to Newt by his father Felix Hoenikker
In Vonnegut’s text Cat’s Cradle the game is first introduced to Newt by his father Felix Hoenikker. The game consists of a string which can be changed into different patterns by the individuals fingers but mostly it is made into an x which is the Cat’s Cradle. Newt was not interested in this game his father tried to play with him, because Felix never really showed interest in anything but his work as a scientist. In the book we read that “Felix went down on his knees on the carpet next to Newt, and showed him his teeth and he waved that tangle of string in my face. “See? See? See?” he asked. ‘Cat’s cradle. See the cat’s cradle? See where the nice pussycat sleeps? Meow. Meow (pg.12). I think Cat’s Cradle also symbolizes truth, science and religion. For example, we see how the relationship between Felix and his children is to say the least role reversed. Angela the daughter had been the real head of the family since she was sixteen, since their mother died. Angela would state that she already had three children Newt, Frank and their father(pg.15). I think since Felix betrays this role of immaturity towards his parental responsibilities, that he sees his truth as purposely being withdrawn from humanity which sides track his attachment of inventing creations of world destruction. I think the Cat’s Cradle also symbolizes the pain the siblings endure due to their lack of a nurturing father figure later in their lives. The tangled strings can represent the lack of judgement Newt had when he married Zinka, who eventually left him and taking some of the ice-nine. We can also argue the fact that Newt also got kicked out of Cornell which may never happened if he had more of a positive father figure to keep him on track.