I recently finished reading I Crawl Through It by A.S. King. In the book, one of the main characters, Stanzi, quotes a favorite moment from the TV show M*A*S*H* when Hawkeye Pierce says, "Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents. Eighty-nine cents' of chemicals walking around lonely."
That quote and many other moments from King's book made me think of Kurt Vonnegut's writing. In particular, I started thinking about Breakfast of Champions and its pervasive chemicals. From there, I plunged down a research rabbit hole and came up with three more quotes from that book, thanks to Goodreads:
- People took such awful chances with chemicals and their bodies because they wanted the quality of their lives to improve.
- So it is a big temptation to me, when I create a character for a novel, to say that he is what he is because of faulty wiring, or because of microscopic amounts of chemicals which he ate or failed to eat on that particular day.
- The whole city was dangerous—because of chemicals and the uneven distribution of wealth and so on.
So it goes.