The Theme of Dehumanization in Breakfast of Champions Essay

The Theme of Dehumanization in Breakfast of Champions Essay

Length: 1922 words (5.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Theme of Dehumanization in Breakfast of Champions


"Dear Sir, poor sir, brave sir: You are an experiment by the Creator of the Universe." (Vonnegut 259) Imagine if this was addressed to you. What an awful feeling of betrayal and loneliness you would no doubt get. But what if next you heard this? "You are the only creature in the entire Universe who has free will. You are the only one who has to figure out what to do next-and why. Everybody else is a robot, a machine." (Vonnegut 259) Surely you would feel like your entire existence was a big joke, one at your expense. You would feel desensitized, remote, and detached from all human feeling. You would be a poor victim, someone taken hold of by the cold grasp of dehumanization. The American Heritage Dictionary defines dehumanize as "To deprive of human qualities or attributes" or "To render mechanical and routine". This certainly does a grand job at describing the callous, inhuman, and cold feeling you get when reading the novel Breakfast of Champions. In his book Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. uses bold motifs, complex characterization, a plot of mundanity and shallowness, elementary diction, and satirical style to emphasize his main theme of dehumanization.

In 1922, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Edith Vonnegut and Kurt Vonnegut Sr. At the age of 18 he graduated from Shortridge High School and pursued a degree in chemistry at Cornell University. (Bonner, par. 1) However, he left college in 1943 to serve his country in World War II. Upon return, Vonnegut continued his studies at the University of Chicago in the field of anthropology. (Encarta, par. 4) In 1950 He left his job and started writing full-time. Vonnegut's other works include ...


... middle of paper ...


...his main theme of dehumanization. He does this using bold motifs, complex characterization, a plot of mundanity and shallowness, elementary diction, and satirical style. He shocks and confuses us with his style of writing, leaving us floundering with questions. Through all this he makes the human race seem empty and alone. But he is right in doing so, because we in fact are.

1 n : an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates
2 adj. : placed side by side often for comparison; "juxtaposed pictures"

Bibliography:

Vit, Marek. Home Page. http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/4953/champions.html

Bonner, Stephanie E. Home Page. http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/4953/alter_ego.html

Anonymous. Encarta. http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/refpages/RefArticle.aspx?refid=76157250

Vonnegut, Kurt. Breakfast of Champions. New York, New York: Dell Publishing. 1973.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Breakfast of Champions Essay

- Breakfast of Champions "Our awareness is all that is alive and maybe sacred in any of us. Everything else about us is dead machinery."(p.221) Introduction Breakfast of Champions; or Goodbye Blue Monday is Kurt Vonnegut's seventh novel. He wrote it in 1972, as he himself says, for his fiftieth birthday. It is Vonnegut's own parody of himself and his works. "The various themes and mannerisms that have animated the earlier novels are seen here in a grotesque, cartoon version of themselves," (Todd)....   [tags: Breakfast of Champions Essays]

Free Essays
1275 words (3.6 pages)

Grain of Hope in Breakfast of Champions Essay

- Grain of Hope in Breakfast of Champions “I think I am trying to clear my head of all the junk in there...the flags...I’m throwing out characters from my other books too. I’m not going to put on any more puppet shows.” This proud exclamation is made in the introduction of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions. It caught my attention and drew me to continue reading. The book continues to take the reader on a bizarre journey through the human mind. Our mental trip is made easier through Vonnegut’s childlike “artwork,” which mostly consists of underwear, guns, cows, and other odds and ends....   [tags: Breakfast of Champions Essays]

Free Essays
885 words (2.5 pages)

Breakfast of Champions: Life With Others Essay

- Breakfast of Champions: Life With Others       For anyone who has ever wondered what the meaning of life is, it is to be the eyes and ears of the Creator of the Universe, if one believes Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions (1973). In Breakfast of Champions the protagonist, Kilgore Trout, is a lonely science fiction writer who lives in a hole in the dredges of New York City. His only work published was "to give bulk to books and magazines of salacious pictures" ( 21). Finally catching his break, Trout is invited to the Midland City Arts Festival, home of Dwayne Hoover....   [tags: Breakfast of Champions Essays]

Powerful Essays
1244 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Self Discovery in Breakfast of Champions

- Self Discovery in Breakfast of Champions                               In Brandon Boyd’s Make Yourself he states that “ if [he] hadn’t assembled [himself] than [he] would’ve fallen apart,” implying that if one does not take the time to understand and build his or her own values and morals then one will live in confusion and falter. Throughout Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions, Kilgore Trout goes through the process of realizing who he is and then learns to remain true to himself. At first Trout is a pessimist who strives to be heard....   [tags: Breakfast of Champions Essays]

Free Essays
642 words (1.8 pages)

Breakfast of Champions: Plague of Unhappiness Essay example

- 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....   [tags: Breakfast of Champions Essays]

Free Essays
1110 words (3.2 pages)

An Analysis of Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions Essay

- An Analysis of Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions Kilgore Trout is a struggling novelist that can only get his novels published in porn magazines. Dwayne Hoover is a fabulously well-to-do car salesman that is on the brink of insanity. They only meet once in their lives, but the entire novel, Breakfast of Champions (1973), is based on this one meeting. The meeting is brief, but that is all the author, Kurt Vonnegut, needs to express his message. In fact, it is quite crucial that the meeting starts and ends almost instantly....   [tags: Vonnegut Breakfast of Champions]

Powerful Essays
974 words (2.8 pages)

Avoiding Reality in Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions and Cat's Cradle

- Barry Diller once said, " This is a world in which reasons are made up because reality is too painful," implying that people would rather live within a created state of reality than to face what is ultimately true. Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions and Cat's Cradle reveal the truth behind human ways, and how people avoid dealing with reality at all costs. Breakfast of Champions explains the way in which human tendencies are defense mechanisms, while Cat's Cradle proves that all truth is eventually lost because human ways are so warped....   [tags: Breakfast of Champions Essays]

Free Essays
971 words (2.8 pages)

Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions Essay

- Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions Who would have ever thought the way a radioactive particle decays would relate to whether or not we have bad attitudes towards life. Who would have ever suspected that the structure of space-time would be so closely linked to whether or not we would marry rich wives. And who indeed would have ever expected that the properties of light might affect whether or not we go on homicidal rampages. Perhaps Kurt Vonnegut did. Could it be possible that a writer known more for his pictures of assholes than his knowledge of advanced physics actually centered some of the deepest concepts in his works on the philosophical implications of gen...   [tags: Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse Breakfast Essays]

Powerful Essays
3300 words (9.4 pages)

Breakfast of Champions Essay

- Breakfast of Champions When one hears the phrase “Breakfast of Champions,” he envisions a grinning picture of Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan slam dunking, or Dale Earnhardt in a racecar on a box of Wheaties, a popular breakfast cereal. A few avid Saturday Night Live fans might recall a skit performed by James Belushi. In the skit, Belushi’s “Breakfast of Champions” was beer, cigarettes, and donuts. Neither of these examples are the subject of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions or Good Bye Blue Morning....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Powerful Essays
692 words (2 pages)

Breakfast of Champions Essay

- Breakfast of Champions Have you ever read a book and enjoyed it, but once you were finished you wondered what it was really about. You wondered if the book had a deep meaning that you had to sit and think about or if the book was just for entertainment purposes only and had no meaning whatsoever. For me, Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was this type of book. Breakfast of Champions is a story about two men who are going to eventually meet each other at a festival for the arts. The story tells about their journey in detail and explains how each man perceives and reacts to society....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
802 words (2.3 pages)