Cat's Craddle Essay

671 words - 3 pages

Misunderstanding Fools

Americans have come up with ways unimaginable to celebrate America’s birthday. In the book, Cat’s Cradle, Horlick Minton presents a speech on San Lorenzo’s “Hundred Martyrs to Democracy.” There are only about a hundred people there to listen to his speech because the rest was dead. The people of San Lorenzo didn’t put up streamers or decorated any thing. They just came to listen. People tend to stretch the meaning of gathering together to honor our heroes.
“ I am about to do a very un-ambassadorial thing,” he declared. “ I am about to tell you what I really feel.”(253). That is how Ambassador Horlick Minton started his speech. It is not very common to start a speech like that. Presidents over the decade have given speeches on Memorial Day or Labor Day, but they mostly start with the meaning of that celebration. “ We are ...view middle of the document...

The people of San Lorenzo don’t do such a thing but listen to their Ambassador and watch a memorial wreath fly into the sea and plains shooting into the water. “Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.”(254). Americans, on Labor Day, have parades and music marching down every street in town to remember all the sacrificed ones. We should just go to the graves of the soldiers and have a service to admire the courageousness of the soldiers. “is today a day for a thrilling show? The answer is yes, on one condition: that we, the celebrants, are working consciously and tirelessly to reduce the stupidity and viciousness of ourselves and of all mankind.”(254~255)
“Minton now recited a poem from Edgar Lee Masters’ the Spoon River Anthology,”
“I was the first fruit of the battle of Missionary Ridge.
When I felt the bullet enter my heart
I wished I had staid at home and gone to jail
For stealing the hogs of Curl Trenary,
Instead of running away and joining the army.
Rather a thousand times the county jail
Than to lie under this marble figure with wings,
And this granite pedestal
Bearing the worlds, “Pro Patria.”
What do the mean anyway?”
“They mean, For one’s country.’” And he threw away another line. “Any country at all.”(255~256). This means that he would have rather stayed home than die for his country. If you think of it this way, then I assure you, it will not be worth celebrating.
People tend to stretch the meaning of gathering together to honor our heroes. Respecting our brave ones is not to go out and celebrate that they died, but to esteem their heroic deeds. “ As stupid and vicious as men are, this is a lovely day.’ Said Ambassador Milton. ‘I, in my own heart and as a representative for the peace-loving people of the United States of America, pity lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya for being dead on this fine day.”(256)

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