Study Guide

The Sirens of Titan

by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

The Sirens of Titan Characters

Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)

Malachi Constant

Malachi Constant, called Unk, the world’s richest and luckiest playboy, whose name means “faithful messenger.” Having inherited from his father, Noel, a previously infallible system for stock investment, Malachi is told by Winston Niles Rumfoord that he will lose his money, marry Rumfoord’s wife (Beatrice), have a child, and move to Saturn’s largest moon. Despite all of his efforts to the contrary, these events occur. Lawsuits deplete his capital; he is impressed into the army of Mars and fitted with a radio control; he rapes Mrs. Rumfoord while drunk; he engenders a son, Chrono; he is lost on Mercury; he returns to Earth, where he is vilified by Rumfoord’s new Church of God, the Utterly Indifferent; and he is forced to retreat with Beatrice and Chrono to Titan.

Winston Niles Rumfoord

Winston Niles Rumfoord, a former millionaire, member of the social elite, and explorer. He is now, with his dog Kazak, a collection of particles that materialize at regular intervals. Stylish, elderly, and possessing a winning smile, Rumfoord has had the power to foresee the future ever since he drove his spaceship into a time tunnel, or “chrono-synclastic infundibulum.” In an attempt to manipulate Earth’s history, he creates a suicidal army on Mars, whose destruction engenders global remorse and the formation of a new religion. All of this is done to force his wife and Malachi to marry and create a son whose good-luck piece must be transported to Titan, where it is...

(The entire section is 627 words.)