Welcome to the Monkey House

Welcome to the Monkey House The character that experiences a radical change in her perception of the world from the beginning to the end of the story is Nancy. Nancy begins the story as a Hostess, a beautiful, intelligent lady who, in order to reduce the population of Earth, which has reached 17 billion people runs an Ethical Suicide Parlor, a place were people can come to die painlessly, by their own choice. She is the definition of the government- by aiding in the killing the population; she represents a government official in this story. She believes her job to be moral, ethical, right, nd necessary.

By the end of the story, when Nancy has become a nothinghead, which she views as the ultimate betrayal to her country, she has a different perspective on sex. Having been deflowered, she still views sex as a bad thing, but realizes that eventually she will accept sex. A major symbol in this short story is the Ethical Birth Control Pills. These pills remove feeling from the waist down, and turn ones urine blue. They do not eliminate the ability to reproduce, because this would be unethical, but any pleasure, which could be derived from sex, is eliminated.

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These pills represent the government’s control over the people. They represent the government’s inability to let the human race reproduce, and the need to control this action. The theme of this short story is the relationship between the human populations and the sexual urges they feel. Vonnegut initially leads the reader to believe that he feels that sex is derogatory to the development of humans, and in the state of overpopulation we find ourselves in during this story, sex is bad. People are completely over crowded, there is absolutely no space left on the planet for us to nhabit.

The idea of sex is just too risky to be available to the public. If people knew how pleasurable sex is, the human population could continue to expand, which obviously cannot happen in the current state of the world. However, it is not sex itself that is the evil Vonnegut describes. In fact by the end of the story, Vonnegut seems to be endorsing sex, rather than speaking against it. The real predator in the situation is reproduction, not sex. Sex without reproduction is not only beneficial to an individual’s well being, but the community as a whole.

Reproduction is what spawns population growth, not sex. So it is not sex that the government is afraid of in this future world, it is what could happen as a result of sex. The nothingheads know the pleasures sex provides to a person and do not wish to lose this, so therefore refuse to take the ethical birth control pills. By having Nancy end up with the nothingheads, Vonnegut seems to be confirming the idea that sex is okay, as long as it is done without risk.

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