The book Cat’s Cradle is about our protagonist, John (or Jonah), who has set out to write a book about what important Americans had done on the day when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The book is called The Day the World Ended. To write the book, John writes a letter to Felix Hoenikker, who is the creator of the atomic bomb, to gather information. Felix is dead however, and his son Newt replies. Newt tells him some information, but he doesn’t know that much because he was very young when the bomb was dropped. John then flies over to the town of Ilium, which is where the Hoenikkers lived. John gathers some information from the townspeople. He learns that there was another son of Felix, named Frank that had been missing for a long time and was thought to be dead. John was then hired to write an article about Julian Castle, who was a millionaire on the island of San Lorenzo. On the plane ride, John noticed Newt and Angelo. He discovers that their brother Frank was living in San Lorenzo. John talks to the Hoenikker children about their father. He learns about ice-nine, which is a substance their father invented that turns water into ice instantly. It could turn all the water in the world into ice in minutes. Felix only made a very small amount of it, and gave a little bit to each of his children. When the ruler of San Lorenzo, Papa, dies, he swallows some ice-nine, which Frank gave to him. Frank had given him some in order to gain his high authority and income on the island. The ice-nine could be a deadly weapon. They must be very careful with Papa’s body because if it were to touch water, the whole world would come to an end. They are very careful with his body and put him in a closet. Then later that day there is an air-show for some holiday in San Lorenzo. One of the planes crashes into Papa’s house, which is on the edge of a cliff, and knocks him into the ocean. This causes all the water to turn into ice because of the ice-nine and it brings the world to an end. It was iron how John was writing a book called The Day the World Ended and his research brought him to the actual day the world ended.
The theme of the book is about the search for truth. The book start “Call me Jonah,” which parodies the book Moby-Dick that starts “Call me Ishmael.” The book Moby-Dick is also a book about the search for truth. During the book, John is searching for truth about Felix Hoenikker, who is the creator of the atomic bomb. The whole story is about him going from place to place, talking to people to find information about him. The book also talks about religion a lot. Vonnegut questions religion many times, saying it is all lies, and this is another part about searching for the truth. The search for information about Felix is a search for the truths about science, which is compared to religion. There is a made up religion in the story, called Bokononism, which John learns about and tries to discover the truths about. While learning information about it, he find out that it is all lies. The two ideas of religion and science are researched by John to discover their truths.