Sunday, October 11, 2015

Short Story Sunday [11]

Welcome to the Monkey House
from: Welcome to the Monkey House
by Kurt Vonnegut

My Welcome to the Monkey House review will be split amongst several weeks of Short Story Sundays.  I will review each short story that appeared in the book.


This story is about a world where instead of taking birth control to cut down on population growth a man developed a pill that causes you to loose all feeling from the waist down, therefore making sex feeling-less and only for reproductive purposes.  

This was such a cool story.  I love how the main character, Nancy, was so set in her beliefs, but by the end she began to realize her concept of the world was flawed.  And others that had been in her exact same situation realized the same thing and began fighting to reclaim their rights to their own bodies.

I also found it very interesting how one super conservative hardcore Catholic guy, J. Edgar Nation, got the entire world to take his pills that removed all temptation for sex.  I find it hard to believe that all the other religions, cultures, and more open minded individuals allowed for that to happen.  I would imagine most people wouldn't want to give that up, despite over population, especially when there are other ways.

Vonnegut has a way of writing ridiculous things that are fun to read but end up being really thought provoking and they stick with you for a while.  This one is no exception.  

In doing a little research on this short story, Vonnegut wrote it in response to Pope Paul VI declaring that the Catholic Church was officially against any sort of contraception.  Once I learned that I enjoyed the story a lot more.  On it's own, it's a little weird, but within the context in which it was written it's a great story.

I give this a 9/10.  Not my favorite Vonnegut story, but definitely a good one.  I listened to this as part of the Welcome to the Monkey House audio book.  It was narrated by David Strathairn.

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