The Tyranny of Cybernetics in Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano

Ruzbeh Babaee, Wan Roselezam Bt Wan Yahya, Shivani Sivagurunathan


Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano (1952) illustrates people who become enslaved to a controlling system of cybernetics that enhances its power through computer, consumer culture, and advertising industry in postwar America. In this study, I investigate Player Piano through the idea of cybernetics that reduces human beings into intelligent machines and mindless bodies. Player Piano constitutes an effort to make sense of powerful systems through the metaphors of the machine. It is a struggle to illustrate a deterministic attitude of the universe that leaves human with no choice.



Cybernetics, Dystopia, 1950s America, Advertising Industry, Consumer Culture

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