Cat's Cradle is a novel that satirizes science, politics, the military and human folly. John learns of a substance called "ice-nine", which freezes any water it touches at room temperature. John meets the Hoenikkers, the children of ice-nine's discoverer, and they eventually end up on the fictional island of San Lorenzo, ruled by a dictator called Papa. John becomes dictator after Papa kills himself with ice-nine. During John's inauguration, a plane crashes into the palace and Papa's body flies into the sea, causing all of the world's water to freeze.
“Protein,” the bartender declared. "They found out something about protein."
"Yeah," said Sandra, "that's it."
If you wish to study a granfalloon Just remove the skin of a toy balloon.
" People are hated a lot of places. Claire pointed out ... that Americans, in being hated, were simply paying the normal penalty for being people, and that they were foolish to think they should somehow be exempted from that penalty. But the loyalty board didn't pay any attention to that. All they knew was that Claire and I both felt that Americans were unloved."
"No damn cat, and no damn cradle."
Man got to sit and wonder, "Why, why, why?"
Tiger got to sleep,
Bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.
“See the cat?” asked Newt. “See the cradle?”
" Foma! Lies!" he wrote. "A pack of foma !"
"Nobody but You could have done it, God! I certainly couldn't have."
"I feel very unimportant compared to You."
"The only way I can feel the least bit important is to think of all the mud that didn't even get to sit up and look around."
This is it:
But they are murdered children all same.
And I propose to you that if we are to pay our sincere respects to the hundred lost children of San Lorenzo, that we might best spend the day despising what killed them; which is to say, the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind.
Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns. ... [I]f today is really in honor of a hundred children murdered in war ... is today a day for a thrilling show? The answer is yes, on one condition: that we, the celebrants, are working consciously and tirelessly to reduce the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind.
“Certainly,” said man.
“Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God.
And He went away.
Muddily do, muddily do, muddily do, muddily do,
Until we bust, bodily bust, bodily bust, bodily bust.