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Outline Thesis: Technology is the villain in Kurt Vonnegut's works because of his hatred of corporate insensitivity and his awareness of the destructive social impact of science and technology. I. Kurt Vonnegut has a great awareness of the destructive social impact of science and technology. A. Contraptions that Vonnegut calls social transplants replace contact with the awful real relatives and friends with synthetic ones. 1. Computers minimize human contact even better than TVs and CD players with headphones can. 2.
Vonnegut voices his hate of the computer because it is a nervous system outside of our own. 3. The start of this was in the 4 th century before Christ; audiences accepted people who memorized things to say on stage as genuine relatives. 4. Films and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than really people talk and shows humans making sounds much lovelier than real humans make. 5. All of these have contributed to our lack of contact with our families and other humans B. We no longer have developed imaginations because of technological developments. 1.
Parents and teachers must be present to help develop our imaginations. 2. Imagination was very important once because it served as our major source of entertainment. a. People used to be able to read a book and envision the story in their mind and that was entertainment. b. Now there are shows, actors, movies and television to show us the story.
C. He believes the American dream has materialized into a junkyard by way of the glories of technology. 1. Technology and salesmanship have stripped and raped the land and divested the people of a sense of pride. 2. People are no longer the hard workers they used to be because machines do their job for them. 3. Many Americans are jobless because of the computerization in corporations, and Vonnegut blames American scientists and technologists for this. 4.
Only those who still have manual labor to perform are truly happy. II. Vonnegut has a deep hatred of corporate insensitivity. A. Vonnegut's job at General Electric provided him with much material for his novels 1. He saw a computer-operated milling machine while he worked at G.
E. a. It made perfect sense to have a little box make the decisions. b.
He hated the idea though because it was hurting the humans who get dignity from their jobs. 2. His brush with science at G. E. instilled in him a profound dislike of technology. 3.
While at G. E. he found profit motives couched in sentimental tributes to pure science and individual freedom being sacrificed for personal advancement. 4. He also noticed how technology was developed in a moral vacuum. 5. He eventually quit his job there to write a novel about people and machines. B.
Kurt Vonnegut despises any institution that dehumanizes men and considers him a mere number and not a human being. 1. Too many corporations and business view us as big parts of one animal. a. We are actually separate universes. b. Each universe has its own way of ignoring celebrating or fending of technology. 2.
Vonnegut is annoyed at the trend towards the submergence of the individual into a collective state. III. Technology is portrayed as the villain in Kurt Vonnegut's writing. A. In Player Piano machines have replaced most of the jobs of humans. 1. The humans prove to be dispensable in a fully automated society. 2.
Companies have been computerized so much that the factories are staffed by a handful of men. 3. He foreshadows the mechanical millenium and the bleak future for humans because of the computerization. B. Vonnegut warns us of the bleak future that lies ahead due to the advancement of technology. 1. He hints that we, like the dinosaur and the saber-toothed tiger will face extinction. 2.
Humanity is competing with the machines for survival. 3. In Cats Cradle the creation of the ice-nine finishes the destruction of the world that began with the atomic bomb. a. Kurt blames this destruction on the fact that the man who discovered ice-nine never picked up a novel or short story to read. b. Vonnegut says in the novel without literature a person dies either of putrescence of the heart or atrophy of the nervous system.
The role of science and technology in Kurt Vonnegut's writing Kurt Vonnegut has a great awareness of the destructive social impact of science and technology. Contraptions that Vonnegut calls social transplants replace the awful real relatives and friends with synthetic ones. Recordings, radio and television are just a few of these devices. They made it possible to bring those synthetic relatives and friends right into your home and replace those friends and relatives who are a royal pain in the neck with a better class of people.
He also believes that computers minimize human contact even better than televisions and compact disc players with headphones did (Vonnegut 266). In fact, Vonnegut's least favorite technology is the computer. He believes it is a nervous system outside of our own and it has deprived humans of the experience of becoming. All they have to do now is wait for the next program from Microsoft (Pickering 24).
Even films, books and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than people really talk. While singers and musicians show us humans making sounds far lovelier than humans really make (Skaw 568). All of these technological developments have decreased the amount of contact we have with other humans. The first of these transplants took place in the 4 th century before Christ. Audiences accepted attractive people who memorized interesting things to say on stage as genuine relatives and friends (Vonnegut 266). We no longer have a need to make conversation with our dreadful real family and friends, not when we have all of these technological and entertaining transplanted friends and family.
Vonnegut believes contemporary society is lonely because we have alienated ourselves from each other because of all of the technology in our world. Throughout his many writings Vonnegut shows his fascination with the way technology changes the social environment (Lundquist 88). He never abandons his theme of hatred for science and technology and its social impact on society. Vonnegut also believes that we no longer have developed imaginations because of destructive technological developments. We are not born with an imagination; teachers and parents help us to develop it.
Imagination was once very important because it was your major source of entertainment. The imagination circuit is built in your head. People can read a book and envision it in their mind. However, this is no longer necessary. Now there are shows, actors, and movies that show us the story instead of letting us use our imagination to envision it.
We do not need imagination just like we do not need to know how to ride horses in our society. We have cars that can go much faster than horses so why learn how to ride one? This question can be applied to imagination. Why unleash your imagination to envision an unknown world in a book when you have movies and actors that do it for you?
Those who have imagination can look into a face and see the stories there to everyone else, a face will be just a face. Science and technology has denied us our imaginations (Freedman 2). In a technologically advanced society, we no longer need it. Vonnegut knows that science and technology have changed America and society tremendously over the years.
Technology and salesmanship have raped and stripped the land and divested the people of pride, leaving them ridiculous mechanical men and women. As a result, The American dream of a new Eden with a new Adam, possible in the virgin wilderness of a new land, has materialized into a junkyard by way of the glories of technology (Schulz 348). As Vonnegut sketches his settings, American ghosts haunt them: coastal Indians, whalers, Iroquois tribes, Erie can almen, and pioneers. All of these people exemplify the American dream and all of these people were destroyed by technology (Uphaus 466). People of the contemporary society are no longer the hard workers they used to be because machines do their jobs for them.
We dont need to work as hard as the Indians, ...
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Research essay sample on The Role Of Technology In Kurt Vonnegut Writing