Breakfast of Champions: Plague of Unhappiness

analytical Essay
1110 words
1110 words

Breakfast of Champions: Plague of Unhappiness

"The motto of Dwayne Hoover's and Kilgore Trout's nation E pluribus unum, Out of Many One" (9). Out of many characters the narrator chooses one, Kilgore Trout, to achieve success. He and Dwayne Hoover are main characters in Kurt Vonnegut's novel Breakfast of Champions (1973). This book is a microcosm of modern American society. Every character symbolizes a different part of the society. The main characters, Dwayne and Kilgore, are symbols; Dwayne representing the successful family man and business person, and Kilgore representing the lonely and unsuccessful people of the world. This novel reveals the misconception people have concerning the relationships between being wealthy and successful and being happy.

"We never discussed what kind of funeral you wanted," (18) said Kilgore Trout to his pet parakeet, and only friend. Kilgore was born in Bermuda. When he was young, he worked with his father trying to save the endangered Bermuda Erns. When an Ern would die, Kilgore had the gruesome task of measuring the dead birds wingspan. He seemed doomed from childhood. "The pessimism that overwhelmed him in later life very likely had its roots in the bittersweet mulch of rotting Erns" (31). This pessimism destroys every human relationship Kilgore Trout has. For this reason, Kilgore is a lonely middle-aged man expecting nothing more from his life than to die alone. The only way he outwardly expresses himself is through writing science fiction novels and short stories.

One man has taken interest in Kilgore's writing. His name is Mr. Rosewater, a very rich man who earned his riches by running coal mines in the mountains of West Virginia. In his eyes Kilgore Trout is a genius. Rosewater funds an extensive search to find Kilgore's address. Once he has the address, he sends Kilgore a fan letter. Kilgore perceives this letter as an invasion of his privacy. Rosewater insists he is not intruding and promises to make Kilgore famous. Trout says, "Keep the hell out of my body bag" (33). Rosewater uses his influences to get Kilgore invited to an art show in Midland City. At this art festival, Kilgore will be one of the main speakers. Kilgore, with no intentions of going at first, says, "I'm not going. I don't want out of my cage" (36). The same pessimism that is causing him to live a lonely, unfulfilled life is also the reason he decides to go the art festival.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how dwayne hoover and kilgore trout are the main characters in kurt vonnegut's novel breakfast of champions. each character symbolizes a different part of the society.
  • Analyzes how kilgore trout is a lonely middle-aged man expecting nothing more from his life than to die alone.
  • Analyzes how mr. rosewater, a rich man, has taken interest in kilgore's writing. he sends him an extensive search to find his address and promises to make him famous.
  • Narrates how kilgore decides to stop in new york first to find some of his books he doesn't have, and read them at the art festival to prove his attempts at being a writer are waste of time.
  • Analyzes how the narrator attributes dwayne's craziness to the bad chemicals in his brain.
  • Analyzes how kilgore trout is in midland city when dwayne hoover bites off his ring finger. he is taken to the hospital and confronted by the narrator of the story, vonnegut.
  • Analyzes how the promise of fame and fortune does not distract kilgore trout from the fact that a large part of his life has past.
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