Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Love and Money in Kurt Vonneguts God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater :: God Bless You Mr. Rosewater
Love and Money in Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater "A sum of money is a leading character in this tale about people, just as a sum of honey might properly be a leading character in a tale about bees." (p.7) God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; or Pearls Before Swine is a satirical story of a millionaire Eliot Rosewater, the president of a fabulously rich Rosewater Foundation, who suffers from total love for all humanity. He decides to go his own way and moves with his money to Rosewater, Indiana. There he becomes a volunteer fireman (one of his obsessions) and opens an office where he helps all people who need help. A lot of people, however, don't approve of Eliot's behavior (his father, for instance, and many many influential and powerful people who are somehow concerned). They look for a way to deprive Eliot Rosewater of his presidential post and, thus, to save the money from being spent on dirty people. The most obvious way is to prove Eliot's insanity. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is Kurt Vonnegut's fifth novel and, I daresay, it is his most positive and humane work yet. As you might guess from the quote in the beginning of this essay, it is a book about money. Kurt Vonnegut managed to write a book about money and love without the ugly word versus between them. It shows that money and love can exist together. Mr. Eliot Rosewater is an example of a man who found his own answers, who re-invented himself and the world he was living in, who dumped the future that had been carefully planned for him, and who started to love people and help them with the inherited millions. "...we may not be able, Vonnegut is saying, to undo the harm that has been done, but we can certainly love, simply because they are people, those who have been made useless by our past stupidity and greed, our previous crimes against our brothers. And if that seems insane, then the better the world for such folly..." (John R. May) The novel tells us that we do not have to accept the world as it is, that we can find our own, individual answers to everything and, if not change the world (the book does not end with a promise of a perfect world), then at least help it. And Eliot succeeds. Even though he is considered to be crazy, he helps hundreds of people in need.