Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan: Page by Page, Chapter by Chapter Review: Chapter 11 – We Hate Malachi Constant Because …

Unk / Malachi Constant / The Space Wanderer is led in to the outdoor worship area constructed by Rumfoord, where he is sentenced to exile on Titan with his wife, Bee, and son, Chrono. Unk briefly thought he had a future on Earth and he yearns for his friend Sonny, who he learns he killed.

Chapter Summary:

  • Rumfoord delivers a sermon on how God is not the source of luck, how Malachi Constant was bad for not doing anything with what he was given.
  • Unk/Malachi enters the Rhode Island Rumfoord complex where Bee, Unk and other Martian survivors sell trinkets as vendors – Unk briefly believes he has a bright future ahead of him on Earth.
  • Unk/Malachi is led to a golden ladder which leads to a space ship that will take him away – Bee and Chrono follow – all while Rumfoord delivers a sermon to his flock.

Begin – Page 256

“We are angered by Malachi Constant,” said Rumfoord up in his treetop, “because he did nothing to deserve his billions, and because he did nothing unselfish or imaginative with his billions.” Page 256

“Luck,” said Rumfoord up in his treetop, “is the way the wind swirls and the dust settles eons after God has passed by.” – Page 257

“I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all,” he said. Page 258

“There was no outcry, for the crowd wanted to hear absolutely everything that Rumfoord and the Space Wanderer might have to say.” Page 258

“Would you like me to tell you what you were named when you were born?” Page 259

Break 1 – Page 259

“To the extent that crowds can be good things, the crowds that Winston Niles Rumfoord attracted to Newport were good crowds.” Page 259

“Hanging Malachi Constant in effigy was an act of violence on the order of trimming a Christmas tree or hiding Easter eggs.” Page 259

“Our hearts have to go out to you, since all your flamboyant errors are errors that human beings have made since the beginning of time.” Page 260

“The man who had been Malachi Constant, who had been Unk, who had been the Space Wanderer, the man who was Malachi Constant again – that man felt very little up on being declared Malachi Constant again.” Page 260

“The ordeal had been promised no tin years or months or days – but in minutes.” Page 261

“Beatrice and young Chrono were supremely cynical about the festivities – but not about courageous behavior in the midst of them.” Page 261

“Rumfoord, up in his treetop, was sending signals to Constant’s Antenna by means of a small box in his pocket.” – Page 262 – How is this different than any of Rumfoord’s broadcast to all of Earth?

“It – it’s probably not worth saying,” said Constant quietly, “but I’d still like to say that I haven’t understood a single thing that’s happened to me since I reached Earth.” – Page 263

“Tell me one good thing you ever did in your life – what you can remember of it.” Page 263

“His poor soul was flooded with pleasure as he realized that one friend was all that a man needed in order to be well-supplied with friendship.” – Page 264

“Feel more like a vitally-interested participant now, Mr. Constant?” called Rumfoord. Page 265

“He had a thorough understanding now of his own worthlessness, and a bitter sympath for anyone who might find it good to handle him roughly.” Page 265

“Not only was the head of the Church of Good the Utterly Indifferent capable of telling the future and fighting the cruelest inequality of all, inequalities in luck – but his supply of dumbfounding new sensations was inexhaustible.” Page 266

“Life, for Beatrice as a younger woman, was too full of germs and vulgarity to be anything but intolerable.” Page 267

“I believe everything you say about me is true, since you so seldom lie.” Page 267 – Beatrice to Rumfoord on being told her true origin.

“The human race is a scummy thing, and so is Earth, and so are you.” Page 268

“The space ship, seemingly inviolable at the top of a shaft in sacred precincts patrolled by watchmen, had plainly been the scene of one or perhaps several wild parties.” Page 268

“He scuffed the fried clams toward the door.” Page 269

End – Page 269

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