In Player Piano, why does Paul buy a farm and what is Anita's opinion on this?

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In Player Piano, Paul buys a farm because he is dissatisfied with his role in a world that is dominated by technology. However, he does not have a political commitment to the resistance. Paul longs to live more simply. His materialistic wife, Anita, does not share his views and urges him to pursue a more prestigious position.

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In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Player Piano, Paul Proteus is the administrator of Ilium Works, a huge industrial conglomerate. The prestige and power of this job—and the comfortable life it allows him—are no longer enough to satisfy Paul. Instead, he feels increasingly disconnected from modern society. Through his old friend Ed Finnerty, who recently quit his high-level job, Paul learns more about the resistance movement that promotes total social transformation. Paul does not share Ed’s commitment but values his friendship; his position is complicated when his company expects him to inform on his friend.

As he enters middle age, Paul becomes further alienated from the excessive dependence on technology. This distancing is combined with a nostalgic attraction to earlier—and, in his mind, simpler—times. He decides to buy a run-down farm and devote himself to restoring it and bringing it back into production.

In contrast, his wife, Anita, is fully invested in the shallow, materialistic life that Paul rejects. She cannot relate to his reasons for seeking a different way to live. Whereas Paul had an elite family background, Anita came from working-class roots and moved up in society by marrying Paul. Rather than endorse his choice, she presses Paul not merely to stay in his current job, but to compete for a more prestigious post in another state.

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