Cat's Cradle

Felix Hoenikker: The Man, The Disorder, The Misperceptions College

Post-World War II, scientists were considered the heroes of modern society. The nation’s science labs were heavily mobilized and federal spending on research development was over twenty times what it had been prior to the start of the war (Hampson). This society is what laid the ground work for Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical masterpiece Cat’s Cradle. In which, Vonnegut’s main character, Felix Hoenikker, is well known for being not only the father of the atomic bomb, dropped on Hiroshima, but also an odd man in general. Hoenikker’s subsequent oddness can be explained by Asperger’s syndrome, a disorder first recognized by Hans Asperger in the mid 1940’s. Hans Asperger studied a group of boys with “autism-like behaviors and difficulties with social and communication skills in boys who had normal intelligence and language development. Many professionals felt Asperger’s syndrome was simply a milder form of autism and used the term ‘high-functioning autism’ to describe these individuals” (Autism Society). By modern standards, Dr. Hoenikker’s actions and aptitudes as well as his creation of multiple weapons of mass destruction is attributed to Felix having Asperger’s syndrome.

Although Asperger’s syndrome wasn’t a well-known phenomenon at...

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