Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Discussion Leader: 22-28

1. What were your feelings about how many people think that the Blue-Footed Boobie's mating dance is religious? How do you feel about the way that Vonnegut lightly hints religiously at things throughout the story but doesn't seem to really have a specific point he's making regarding religion?

2. Now that the narrator is starting to show a little more of his role and background in this book, do you have any further idea on who he might be and why he's valid to the story (besides, of course, telling it)?

3. What are your feelings about how much detail Vonnegut has begun going into about each character, and do you feel that this detail about their backgrounds and how they got on the "Nature Cruise of the Century" is valid or important to the story?



  1. 1. I agree in a way it does come off as it could be part of some religion. I enjoy how Vonnegut gives the slight hints about religion, because he never tries to push any religious views upon you. He does not try to make you believe any specific religious beliefs.
    2. I have no idea who the narrorator is yet. I think he might be kind of a bystander type role

  2. 2. Someone off to the side who doesn't have a big role but someone who was there all along.

  3. 3. The deep intense detail on characters is very much appreciated because now we get to learn and understand the characters and get a glimpse into who they really are.

  4. How they got into the cruise is important because it shows why they ended up there, how they got to where their going and why. I enjoy all the intense detail.

  5. 1. I understand how one might think of religious rituals when examining the mating dance, for many religious ceremonies call for certain dances. In regards to what you said about Vonnegut's mention of religion, are you referring to the "blue tunnel" he speaks of that the dying pass through?
    2. It was revealed that the narrator died whilst working on the building of the Bahia de Darwin, and haunts the ship as a result. I know there's more to his story, and I'm interested in finding his motivation for focusing so much on these characters (if there's more reason than the fact that these characters start the new human race).
    3. I know there's a reason Vonnegut wrote what he wrote, and I'm sure the information we are gaining now will be relevant to us later on in the story.

  6. 1. Mary Hepburn is the first to put forth that the courtship dance might fall under the heading of religion or that of art. I believe that she is simply looking to garner a response of greater insight from her students. The narrator, however, is quick to dismiss this idea, explaining, "As for the meaning of the courtship dance of the blue footed boobies: The birds are huge molecules with bright blue feet and have no choice in the matter. By their very nature, they have to dance exactly like that" (Pg.111). Kayla brings up the 'blue tunnel' of which the narrator has now many a time spoken. As a deceased, yet sentient, character, the narrator is not pondering death in the religious abstract, but rather as an authority on the subject.
    2. I enjoy the narrator's personal anecdotes, though I haven't any well-founded idea as to whom he might be, at this time.
    3. I believe that these central characters will come to bear a great significance to the story. Thus far, the narrator has identified irrelevant characters in their introductions.