The Sirens of Titan: Kurt Vonnegut

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 “The Sirens of Titan is a hilarious attempt to chronicle the problems of capitalism and the human search for meaning in an absurd world.  The main character, Malachi Constant, is the richest man in a future America.  A Donald Trump type character, he believes his great wealth is due to divine favoritism.

      This idea is quickly turned on its’ head when he goes on an adventure through the solar system with Winston Niles Rumfoord who is unstuck in time and space.  Rumfoord had traveled through something called a  chrono-synclastic infundibulum which is described in the novel as: “those places … where all the different kinds of truths fit together.” It makes it so he does not exist in a physical form but is rather a wave phenomenon who can materialize into a physical form in random parts and times in the solar system.  He frequently tells people about their futures that turn out to come true.  He also showed Constant how human existence and human purpose was to make a part for a broken Tralfamadorian robotic space traveler as the Tralfamadorian had manipulated humanity to evolve and develop for the express purpose of making the robot part.  

       This is linked to the major theme in the novel that people who are in power, by means of political position, wealth, or both got their power by a series of lucky breaks or as the book describes “a victim of a series of accidents” and thereby do not deserve the admiration of millions. The book says that the meaning of life is not written by a God nor is it to follow any doctrine or person blindly. It is  rather to “love everyone that is around to be loved.” I would highly recommend this novel as it shows to all of us that success isn’t everything and that the rich and powerful, although they may seem like gods to us, are just people who turned out to be luckier than we did.”

– Jory Jones

 

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