Cat's Cradle Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapters 1-4

• Cat’s Cradle is narrated from the first-person perspective of protagonist John, who refers to himself in Chapter 1 as “Jonah.”

• In the first chapters of the novel, John introduces the reader to the religion of Bokononism and the concepts of “karasses” (teams of people who are linked in a cosmically significant manner) and “kan-kans” (the instruments that bring people into their karass).

• The kan-kan that brought John into his personal karass, he says, was “the book I never finished, the book to be called The Day the World Ended” (2).

• A basic tenet of Bokononism is that all religions are lies.

• John's karass contains the three children of Dr. Felix Hoenikker.

• Dr. Hoenikker, one of the "fathers" of the first nuclear bomb, died in 1963.

• John sends a letter to Dr. Hoenikker’s youngest son Newton, introducing himself as a freelance writer working on a book about August...

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