Harnessing the Power of Nature: the destruction of man

The forces of nature have been a power that has left humanity slack-jawed in awe. Great storms, explosive volcanoes, and violent earthquakes have both terrified mankind, as well as given them a desire to possess such power. Humanity studied the forces of nature, gaining a understanding of the mechanics of the great destructive forces. They began to integrate these destructive forces, as weapons, into their petty military conflicts. The discovery of combustion weapons, using gunpowder invented in China, forever changed the landscape of war on Earth. Humanity had harnessed powers previously believed to be reserved for the gods, and released a beast that would only grow stronger. Man held the destructive power of the divine, as well as the selfish and fallible nature of the species. One individual's decisions would have dramatic results for countless people. There is no better example of this than the use of nuclear weapons. One person could decide the destruction of thousands or even millions of people. This force in the wrong hands could lead  to the destruction of humanity, but the question remains does anyone have the right hands.

"Lukewarm sea had swallowed all. A lazy curtain of dust was wafting out to sea, the only trace of all that fell. The palace, its massive, seaward mask now gone, greeted the north with a leper's smile, snaggle-toothed and bristly." (Cat's Cradle 259-260) Nature is a powerful force that humanity has lived in fear of, and dreamed to control, for most of their existence.
"So they fought like a swirl of living fire, You could not say if the sun and moon still stood secure, So dense the battle-haze that engulfed the brave.." (Iliad 17:421-423) The first natural power harnessed by man was fire, and it would leave a smoldering scare on human history ever since.
"There were no smells. There was no movement. Every step i took made a gravelly squeak in blue-white frost. And every squeak was echoed loudly. The season of locking was over. The earth was locked up tight. It was winter, now and forever." (Cat's Cradle 269) The "Ice-nine) of Vonnegut's classic novel is a satirical reminder of the destructive power of nature when in the hands of men.
"I looked up at the sky where the birds had been. An enormous worm with a violet mouth was directly overhead...We humans separated;fled..." (Cat's Cradle 261-262) The decisions of one man, can leave the rest helpless.
"The god of war is impartial: he hands out death to the man who hands out death." (Iliad 18:359-360) The destructive power of nature sees no enemy, nor ally, only those in its path.
"How the hell innocent is a man who helps make a thing like an atomic bomb?" (Cat's Cradle 68) Here is a portrait one of the greatest intellectuals to ever grace humanity with his presence, and mind. However, he is also responsible for the most destructive weapon humanity has ever witnessed. This portrayal of the famous scientist reflects the tragedy that was unleashed upon the Earth on May 8th, 1944. He is cast in a blue light, with a slight frown and defeated eyes; an example of what can happen when the power of nature is in the hands of fallible men.
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