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When is a Novel not a Novel: When It is Used to Teach Political Science
Unformatted Document Text:  The reader discover’s early in the text that Dr. Paul Proteus’ secretary is Dr. Katherine Finch (92). Vonnegut summarizes the underlying assumption of formal training through Dr. Pond: “The modern world would grind to a halt if there weren’t men with enough advanced training to keep the complicated parts of civilization working smoothly” (133). Following Weber’s discussion of formal training to the letter, Vonnegut also includes “special examinations as prerequisites of employment.” These examinations take the form of the National General Classification Test and the Achievement and Aptitude that were calculated in “mysterious, unnamed units of measure” (65). As was noted above, Vonnegut uses Dr. Pond to define the role of formal training in the bureaucracy. Vonnegut subsequently uses Pond to lampoon the very same characteristic. “I spent seven years in the Cornell Graduate School of Realty to qualify for a Doctor of Realty degree. I think I can say without fear of contradiction that I earned that degree. My thesis was the third longest in any field in the country that year - eight hundred and ninety-six pages, double-spaced, with narrow margins” (133). In the same scene, Vonnegut, contrasts Paul Proteus the engineer with Mr. Haycox the handyman. It is the handyman, a “doctor of cowshit, pigshit, and chickenshit” who knows how to pack the pump (133-134). While these examples are funny, Vonnegut can be dead serious as well. After Bud Calhoun loses his job to a machine of his own invention, Paul says, “you ought to be in design.” Bud’s response his telling: “Got no aptitude for it. Tests proved that.” Paul persists: “You do it with a damn sight more imagination than the prima donnas in the Lab. You’re not even paid to design, and still you do a better job of it than they do.” Bud’s response again defines the system: “But that test says no. So that’s that, [a]h guess” (64).

Authors: Connor, George.
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The reader discover’s early in the text that Dr. Paul Proteus’ secretary is Dr. Katherine
Finch (92). Vonnegut summarizes the underlying assumption of formal training through
Dr. Pond: “The modern world would grind to a halt if there weren’t men with enough
advanced training to keep the complicated parts of civilization working smoothly” (133).
Following Weber’s discussion of formal training to the letter, Vonnegut also includes
“special examinations as prerequisites of employment.” These examinations take the
form of the National General Classification Test and the Achievement and Aptitude that
were calculated in “mysterious, unnamed units of measure” (65). As was noted above,
Vonnegut uses Dr. Pond to define the role of formal training in the bureaucracy.
Vonnegut subsequently uses Pond to lampoon the very same characteristic. “I spent
seven years in the Cornell Graduate School of Realty to qualify for a Doctor of Realty
degree. I think I can say without fear of contradiction that I earned that degree. My
thesis was the third longest in any field in the country that year - eight hundred and
ninety-six pages, double-spaced, with narrow margins” (133). In the same scene,
Vonnegut, contrasts Paul Proteus the engineer with Mr. Haycox the handyman. It is the
handyman, a “doctor of cowshit, pigshit, and chickenshit” who knows how to pack the
pump (133-134). While these examples are funny, Vonnegut can be dead serious as well.
After Bud Calhoun loses his job to a machine of his own invention, Paul says, “you ought
to be in design.” Bud’s response his telling: “Got no aptitude for it. Tests proved that.”
Paul persists: “You do it with a damn sight more imagination than the prima donnas in
the Lab. You’re not even paid to design, and still you do a better job of it than they do.”
Bud’s response again defines the system: “But that test says no. So that’s that, [a]h
guess” (64).


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