Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Discussion Leader chapters 8-14

1. Do you find it interesting, annoying, or have another feeling regarding Vonnegut's repetitiveness about something (for example, reminding us about the characters who are going to die by putting a star by their name.) ?

2. Why did Vonnegut tell us how Mary is going to die? Is this relevant to the story?

3. Why did Mary go on the cruise, even though she didn't want to and her husband is dead? Is it simply because she promised him?


  1. 1. I don't have a problem with Vonnegut's repetition, for I think he employs this device for emphasis. I notice that most times where Vonnegut repeats something, he adds in a tiny bit of new information, which we will accumulate more and more of throughout the story.
    2. I don't know if the story will continue until her death, but I think Vonnegut likes to casually slip in juicy information like that in order to gain a response from the reader. I assume Mary will have remained on the island all her life, because her end came by shark.
    3. Mary adored her husband, and I think she went on the cruise mostly to honor his wishes. She also has been losing her sense of purpose and probably sees nothing to lose by going on the cruise.

  2. 1. Vonnegut's repetition is not without purpose. The narrator shifts between speaking in the abstract to recounting the characters' background stories. Because presenting information outside of a narrative format can become confusing for some readers, he takes care to reiterate certain central plot points (as well as for the sake of added suspense).
    2. I imagine that Mary's death will have some bearing on the story, as the narrator has spoken of the great white shark that ate her on more than one occasion.
    3. Mary chooses to attend the cruise, because her late husband, Roy, of whom she was so fond, asked her to "take 'the Nature Cruise of the Century' for both of them" (Pg.45).

  3. 1. Vonnegut's repetition maintains the storyline and serves as a reminder of the characters role in the big picture while going into detail about their individual stories. I like the repetition for this reason.
    2. The inclusion of Mary's death surprised me, but I think it shows that she will continue to be a significant character as the plot develops.
    3. Mary chose to go on the cruise because it was her husband's dying wish. She never actually wanted to go on the trip, but I think she feels it will bring her closure.