Analysis Of Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast Of Champions

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Ideas are intoxicating. As well said by Oscar Wilde, an Irish writer and poet of the 1890’s, “An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” Kurt Vonnegut embodies this idea about ideas in a number of his novels. A common reoccurring theme brought up by Vonnegut in his book Breakfast of Champions is that an idea, or the lack of them can cause disease, and a great example of that is with the repetition of the symbol, mirrors as leaks into another universe. Early on in the storyline, we learn about Kilgore Trout’s ‘idea’ that Mirrors are leaks, and throughout the book mirrors are brought up. In chapter 18, when the narrator interacts with his characters in the cocktail lounge, he tells us, the readers, that he is wearing sunglasses so that he can be incognito. His sunglasses have a mirror finish on the lenses, which we can conclude, goes back to the idea of mirrors as leaks. “The lenses were silvered, were mirrors to anyone looking my way. Anyone wanting to know what my eyes were like was confronted with his or her own twin reflections. Where other people in the cocktail lounge had eyes, I had two holes into another universe. I had Leaks.” (Vonnegut 197) This reference to mirrors acting as leaks, is a sense that Trout understands it as: a hole between the book itself and that of the author, Kurt Vonnegut. In chapter 11, we’re told that Sugar Creek, a popular tourist attraction in the book, floods becoming “a vast mirror in which children might safely play.” The inhabitants can look into the creek like looking into a mirror and see themselves as the reader does. It goes on, “The mirror showed the citizens the shape of the valley they lived in, demonstrated that they were hill people who inhabited slopes r... ... middle of paper ... ...that has free will, and everyone else around him are just robots. For Dwayne, being that he was severely mentally unstable, this was the moment that seemed to fulfill whatever he was waiting for. Thus, Dwayne goes on a rampage, beating up the supposed “robots” that are the people around him, be that of friends or strangers, while using his declared free will (Vonnegut 259-264). In reality, such gruesome scenes would be looked down upon, but Vonnegut’s use of black humor helps to make the scenes more comedic. But because Dwayne got a hold of a book with radical ideals, his boat was rocked over, thus showing the destruction ideas can really have on someone. Ideas are disease, and ideas can influence. Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Breakfast of Champions, introduces and gives plenty of fictional examples of how this is fact is true; the book’s climax is due to this main fact.

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