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Problem “human and technocratic society” in K. Vonnegut’s novel “Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye, Blue Monday”

Annotation

The article deals with the novel by a world-known American writer K. Vonnegut “Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye, Blue Monday”. This novel represents the individual author's model of a technocratic society, eliminating the human personality. The writer depicts a kind of society, eachmember of which is just like a well tuned-up mechanism. The conception of a personality the author of the novel proclaims is closely connected with the description of certain physiological processes taking place inside a human body and caused by the influence of special pills. Comparing people to machines, K. Vonnegut believes that the way they behave as well as their state of mind (insomnia, insanity, good or bad mood etc.) greaty depends on concentration of a certain drug and that it’s also provoked by total destruction of traditional set of values. It is underlined that using words like “pills”, “drugs” and other words with this connotation, K. Vonnegut very often means “stream of information”, or just words characterised by suggestive power. Also such problems as cooperative society, the influence of advertisement on people’s minds and the threat of information wars are considered. In the artistic world recreated by K. Vonnegut we can observe realization of ideas that can be characterized as key for his worldwiev. Some of them are connected with the attempts to subdivide people into successful and unsuccessful, which depend on whether they share or contradict standards and values of the reality.

Keywords

K. Vonnegut; dystopia; concept of human personality; society; technocracy; successful hero; loser

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UDC

821.111(73)

Pages

175-180

References

1. Vonnegut K. Zavtrak dlya chempionov, ili Proshchay, Chernyy ponedel'nik. M., 2010. 2. Vonnegut K. Armageddon v retrospektive. M., 2012. 3. Vonnegut K. Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday. N. Y., 1999. 4. Karaev N. Zhizn' po Vonnegutu, ili v Poiskakh svoego karassa // Mir fantastiki. 2012. № 111. S. 52-57. 5. Vishnevskiy S. Kogda real'nost' absurdna. URL: http://www.litmir.net/br/?b=29892&p=44 (data obrashcheniya: 23.05.2014). 6. Literaturnaya entsiklopediya terminov i ponyatiy / pod red. A.N. Nikolyukina. M., 2001.

Received

2014-07-11

Section of issue

Literary world map

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