The Drone King by Kurt Vonnegut – Short Story Summary, Analysis, Review
I wanted to flip the script a little bit and talk to her about the male view. A little bit and one of kurt vonneguts, unpublished story finally surfing for us to read today welcome leslie hello. What up nerds welcome to the codex cantina, where i am oona and i am the queen bee leslie. Now we take some of the most important literature that has influenced even todays authors, if youre down for a conversational approach to literature, hit that subscribe button to join us on the journey guys today, the drone king, which oona and i both read and are beautiful copy Of kurt vonneguts complete stories, first of all, this book is absolutely gorgeous. Ive only read the one story so far, im very excited to keep reading it, but the drum king was never published. It was written in the 1950s. It finally showed up in october of 2017., and we will leave a link to the atlantic down below where you can read for free, as well as an audiobook abridged version, its a pretty cool animation, itll kind of wet your appetite. But it is not the whole story, but well leave a link down below where you can experience that now. Kurt vonnegut is one of my favorite authors and something leslie has been getting more into as she does a ton of sci fi as well, but he also has that literary angle where its really useful to kind of talk through his stories.
Yeah. Ah kurt vonnegut is an author. I would call a hybrid author while he does fall into the sci fi genre. I also feel that he is very much at home in the literary fiction genre as well, and i love when you get those different genres mixed in with one another hes so effortless in his writing. This is my second piece to read by him. Slaughterhouse5 was the first and i love slaughterhouse 5, but its written in a completely different manner than what the short story is, and i can tell you guys after reading this first short story, i cant wait to dig into more. I love the way he writes its. So conversational its almost like someone is sitting there telling you the story, its easy to follow, easy to read and enjoy and understand which thats very important to me, especially when it comes to science fiction. Indeed, indeed, now, when it comes to kurt vonnegut himself, he is such an interesting author for where hes positioned he he came in right at the tail end. His short stories kind of fade out kind of replaced by tv programs in a sense, but he was also kind of serving in the war. Coming back for more and saying, whats my place in life now theres tons of american authors from this era. That became very popular whats interesting about vonneguts tale. Is he comes from an era where men came first, women came second, they were kind of always silent, not spoken to that sort of thing and not saying its right, but thats thats, the generation that he came to and when he came back from the war where Men did all the work women stayed at home and tended to the family and raised the kids.
Well, when we were at war, all the women went to work right. The men went off to to fight the war. The women helped provide the supplies and keep the country running well. Now the men come back and all of a sudden, all these writers, all these people. This era are reevaluating whats, the purpose of my life. You know a lot of women said we like working. We want to keep doing this and it became a movement of of womens rights, very, very rightfully so for people to push for what they think makes them happy and at the same time, i believe i believe what happened there is women felt like they had some Worth – and that is very, very just liberating, and it feels good to know that you have value more than just being someone whos stuck in a house keeping house right right, and i think you know last month with womens in translation, we covered a couple of those Stories exploring those angles and theyre very, very important, something that is kind of looked down upon. I feel like is when you, when you flip the script, and you talk about well, what are some things that that men dont have rights to, and some say you know, suck it up, dont cry about it. You know youve got everything else thats, so good. Dont worry about these bad things. You know, and men tend to bottle things up. They tend to not share some things and whats so great about vonneguts.
Writing is that we get to explore. Perhaps some of these things and experiences that men go through that when they come back from this war and they realize theyre, not the only ones that can do work, that women are just as good at working on a lot of things. The same way that they are well now whats my point in life, and what do i do when what used to be something that only men can do now, both men and women can do what is my point in life in the same way that women found Value men were like well now. What do i do now? I guess in a sense i felt so bad from that aspect, because they were no longer needed by their country. At this point, theyve always usually had a commanding officer. That said. Do this do this? Do this, so they didnt really have to do thought wasnt required. They just did what they were told. They performed their job and i think they held on to you know when this is over. I get to go home and go back to my normal routine. The way life was before the war and hopefully getting back to that routine, would make them forget the awfulness of the war, and then they get home and women are like. We dont need you. We got this im not going to give up my job. Women were also playing professional sports, while the men were going to war that whole thing got started, and i unfortunately, i just dont think the women were feeling liberated and i dont think they saw it from the mens perspectives.
They just the men, wanted to feel needed and they didnt feel like they had a place. Women were taking care of things. The country was not needing them and i think that just left them in a very bad situation right lets. Do a quick plot recap. I dont think this is while the plot is fascinating and very enjoyable. The recap of the plot will be very short because i think you just need to read this to fully get the enjoyment out of it, but just as a quick summary. Basically, our narrator is a stock and bond advisor and is called to a millennium club one day, a lavish escape by the fall millionaire. Sheldon quick and there sheldon quick kind of drops it on him. Like hey, buddy, im gon na toss, you a bunch of money. All you got to do is help me with my business plan, which involves using bees as communication and its like what this absolutely ludicrous idea of taking tiny little messages. Just like we used to use carrier pigeons and attach them to these little insects. Why would you do that? Sheldon, quick, we learn very quickly, has a very different view on women hes, almost misogynistic or anti woman, more so than he is pro mana. It is one way to view this character and hes trying to find value in these male bees. That are killed and slaughtered, and he brings up all these examples in nature about how tarantulas do it, how praying mantises do it, and these these are true things.
The animal kingdom really does behave this way where the men are discarded once their use has been given and so hes trying to re give a use to these men give them a b millennium club to send communications and theyre so much better than carrier pigeons right. They can go through windows, they can fly indoors. All they got, ta do is go beehive to beehive, so he calls together. The press conference opens the door for them to fly. You know three stories to the other millennium club beehive and what happens as soon as he opens that door leslie well, unfortunately, as nature tends to do, it reverts back to the way things were and they go right back to the queen bee and they go right Back to getting slaughtered right so very depressing and sad story, i guess, but its also very liberating and thought provoking as many ivana gets works are lets move into our discussion and analysis here. So, first of all, i think weve kind of set a lot of groundwork with that opening discussion there right we talk about how there clearly is a discussion of what is the use of men in society in a sense right. We open up with men being segregated off in this millennium club, which were real things, and i think, if i remember correctly, when i toured uh one downtown the skyline club when i was running a business, and you know networking and stuff like that.
Its open to women too, of course now, but they talked about how they think. If i remember correctly, the the bonnegats were a member of that club too that or they were lying or am i misremembering i dont remember, but it was men only at one point in time. This is where men can escape and have that uh freedom to discuss things quote unquote that sort of thing, but very clearly. This is kind of like that that symbol, that that setting of the line between men and women – and this is the man space – is one of the ways to view the opening. So when mr quick began, the story with the whole slap in the face where the female the queen bee kills the male drone. And then, when you further read in the story when he releases the bees at the press conference and they go back to the queen and they get slaughtered, that was that was so sad when he described those male drones just getting battered and killed. I could picture that and i i felt so bad i mean i know its nature. I know its designed that way for a purpose, but i didnt understand it just it feels so mean and then, when you think about what its used to represent in the story, how men had one use and then were discarded, i felt so bad about it. Well, we have this quote too, where they say this wholesale slaughter of the males takes place after the males have performed the most basic function.
What are your thoughts on that so think? Back last month we covered a chicken by clarissa spector and if you will remember that story was about a chicken who had one job and that was to feed the family by being a meal. And we find that the author is comparing it to how women were viewed or treated. They had one purpose and that was to be in the home, provide for the family, and that was that its almost like this is the same story. But from the male perspective, and dare i say it – i actually like this one better. I just vonnegut really made me feel emotion. When reading about the story, i felt so bad for any man who has been made to feel this way feel like they no longer had a purpose. They had their. You know they felt like they had one job and once that one job was over, they were used up. They were not the only thing that was good to happen at that point was to to kill them off to murder them it. Just it really made me feel emotion, right well, its so interesting for our society today, because its not just a man problem its not just a woman problem, its a societal problem right. How do we view each other and the value that we give to each other? In each others lives because i remember reading or was i watching a video where someone was talking about how men retreat into video games a lot these days? And we talk about the lack of utility from men right men arent, providing what they should be, which is boiling down.
You know, i think, a mans purpose to utility, which i think can be frustrating for some men right. We dont want to be just viewed as what can we provide were not just a bank were not just you know the the guy that pays the mortgage, we have emotions too, and we want to be treated and interacted with. I think this is a broad statement and not just viewed as what can i provide right and the same thing from the female perspective, and why do we have such a divide but anyways? This video was talking about. Why do men retreat to video games, and i was looking at some of the comments? Okay, so not even not even the discussion that was actually happening, so i think yeah. It was a video and some people were commenting of. You know man. This was a man saying society, society tells us we have no use. So therefore we become that – and i think thats so interesting – how we are we using these video games or books and stories or something that doesnt necessarily i dont say, provide no value, because there are points to a lot of different things. But do we use some things as an escape, because society tells us we dont have that purpose we dont have that use or you know, do our loved ones see us only as a specific thing. So we do that and then when were done, we find that we dont know what to do.
I dont know its a very complex situation, but its very heartbreaking to think about when you feel like youre being put in this box when we know, as human beings were so much more and can give so much more than perhaps what some people expect of us And you dont know how to break out of the box, because if youre, the only one thats trying to break the mold, no ones going to support you no ones going to help you no one is going to see it from your standpoint to understand what youre Trying to do thats just and that hits you deep doesnt it well and its frustrating too, because in this story, okay, bees were gon na give you this new purpose of of being communication bees and they open the window on what happens they nature. Nature goes back to the way it was meant to be. Behavior goes back to behavior right, you can say dont play those video games, dont waste. Your time on this useless stuff go do this, but then we find ourselves slipping back into these habits into these ruts and thats whats, just so its its the myth of sisyphus. We can push that rock up the hill, but its going to come back the other side. Sometimes there was the one b, the one drone who made it back to the the messenger beehive, the the b millennium club yeah, and that one survivor was like was vonnegut.
Trying to say, hey, heres, a shred of hope there is somebody out there who can go against the norm and change the way society works yeah. While it was very sad, i was so sad for that b and then he died im like he makes it back. I was so excited that the one made it back and then he died, and i was like thanks – kurt yeah, yep vonna get pulls no punches, hits you where it hurts but allows you to kind of reevaluate and feel the writing. Besides just intellectualizing it, which is what i think is so beautiful about vonneguts writings, he spoke right to my emotions and have me emotionally invested in this one, and when i started it, i was like what is what is this about like whats going on here? I know theres another message and i thought am i gon na get it and oh my word and then im over here, researching how queen bees and drum bees and all that works Laughter. You know and isnt that one of the beauties of literature is what it allows us to evaluate about ourselves what it allows us to understand about the world. Now we brought you on this channel because i specifically wanted a female perspective on this story right its its easy to put two males in here and say like oh, this is, you know, whats not right about society, but i think its a little bit more entertaining And engaging when you can get, you know the opposite view on this as well, so lets move into our subjective, wrap up and ratings were going to leave a vonnegut playlist down below, or you know, hes one of my favorite authors, so weve got tons of talks.
Well, continue to have more throughout time, leslie hit me with your subjective ratings and wrap up. How did this story hit? You, i loved it, i absolutely loved it. I loved everything about it. I loved it at face value, just the story, because it made me curious to go, learn more about bees. I would have never just woken up that day and thought. I wonder how queen bees work and drone mills and oh wow, they actually breed their queens. They make more than one at a time and the the girls have to fight to the death as to who gets to be the queen, and then they can be the queen for two to seven years. They only make once in their life and then they kill their lover by stealing his sperm and then they just use that for the rest of their life. I would have never done that so that that right there ha how my list of things i love. I love when stories books make me want to learn more about life, and then i loved the just the symbolism of what he was trying to convey the theme of men returning from war and how we made them feel, and oh my gosh. That just made me feel so bad yeah, and so that makes me think you know what i need to do a better effort, not just for men for everybody. I need to make a better effort to see someones worth and make them see that i see their worth, that i have in them.
So i uh 10 out of 10 20 out of 10., all the stars just sprinkle all the stars. I love kurt vonnegut right and its worth pointing out. We dont were not saying for sure that kurts angle was the the right. This was meant to be allegorical of men. Returning from war, though theres plenty of talks about the war and theres talks about them, going foxhole to foxhole like sneaking in these like war terms that, like you know, you could make the argument there, but its important. I think to even know that, as a backdrop to say like this is a mirror, perhaps of what some things society was experiencing, which i think is the highlight of literature yeah well, that was my subjective writing. Of course. Of course, i will go with a nine out of ten. I dont know what could be missing. I dont know what could be better its just how i feel its all made up. Anyways right. This is like whose line is it anyways? It could be longer? I would have, i would have read a whole book about this yeah, no absolutely agreed with that thats thats fun to get for you im, always wanting more good thing. We have a gigantic book here. Exploring on this channel so guys head over to leslies channel, show her some love subscribe were gon na.