Galapagos – a heavenly island in the disguise of hell
In “Galapagos”, Kurt Vonnegut uses Darwin’s evolution theory to base a dark and funny narrative on human beings. Told from the narrative of the spirit of Leon Trout, the novel humourously and painstakingly compels its readers to reflect on humanity and our roles as human beings. From a mix of characters tossed on the fictional island of Santa Rosalia who escaped the ills of a global financial crisis and a World War III where some mysterious viruses wiped out human race by sterility, Vonnegut tells the story of how these escapists survive and repopulate the earth. Refusing to enter the “blue tunnel” that leads to the afterlife, the immortal spirit of Trout witnesses the slow evolution of the remaining human race to furry, aquatic creatures with streamlined skull and flippers for fishing and snouts and teeth adapted for catching fish a million years from now. Trout’s narration presses readers to ponder on the role of fate in deciding men’s future, the efforts of men that render their lives possible and yet futile as what we value most proves to be disastrous in our lives.
By randomly selecting a myriad of people from all walks of life as survivors from the end of the world catastrophe, Vonnegut makes his readers realize the role of fate in making things happen the way they are. Although Vonnegut chooses the title of his novel as an island where Darwin based to develop his theory of evolution, Vonnegut argues that it is not the fittest who survive. According to Vogel, it is merely the work of fate that brings the passengers on board Bahía de Darwin, the “Nature Cruise of the Century” to settle on the Galapagos Islands, a place where they have successfully survived and repopulated the earth. The isolation and barrenness of the island contributes to a small colony that causes...
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