Breakfast Of Champions Book Report on Breakfast of Champions By Marcel Burney 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. A “Breakfast of Champions” is actually a martini. Breakfast of Champions is a work of fiction with semi-autobiographical allusions.
The main characters of the book are Kilgore Trout, Dwayne Hoover, and Philboyd Sludge. Kilgore Trout installs aluminum combination storm windows and screens and writes science fiction novels and short stories. He has no ambition to be a famous writer, so he sends his works to pornographic magazine companies to be published. The names and characters of his works are often changed in the process, and he is rarely paid for his efforts.
Dwayne Hoover owns a successful Pontiac dealership. He slowly loses his sanity as the plot unfolds. Philboyd Sludge creates these characters and appears in the story to watch the characters as the story progresses. Breakfast of Champions depicts the story of Kilgore’s travel to Midland City to speak at a festival of arts.
Kilgore, at first, rejects the invitation, but he decides to go because he wants to be “a representative of all the thousands of artists who devoted their entire lives to a search for truth and beauty – and didn’t find doodley-squat” (37). He intends to hitchhike to Midland City and appear at the arts festival as a nasty old man. Along the way, he is robbed. He continues hitchhiking and is picked up various truckers. He walks to his hotel after being caught in a traffic jam a mile away. Kilgore’s arrives at the hotel.
He prepares to make a grand entrance as a “red-eyed, filthy old creature” but is thwarted when the desk clerk recognizes him. Kilgore cleans-up and travels down to the cocktail lounge, where he would soon meet Dwayne Hoover. Kilgore’s luminescent shirt under the ultraviolet lights attracts Hoover to his table. Hoover demands for Kilgore to give him the message.
Hoover snatches Now It Can Be Told, one of Kilgore’s novels, from the table. The book says that there is only one being with free will, “everyone else is a robot” (253). The book drives Hoover insane. He believes he is the only one with free will. He begins attacking people in the lounge.
He bites off Kilgore’s middle finger. Hoover leaves the hotel and attacks the people he meets outside until he is placed in a mental hospital. After Kilgore leaves the hospital, he meets Philboyd Sludge, who reveals that he is Kilgore’s creator. Philboyd then frees him.
Vonnegut makes several social commentaries throughout the novel. The most noticeable are color and freedom. He describes Christopher Columbus as a white sea pirate who discovers a land already settled by the “copper-colored” Native Americans (11). The sea pirates “created a government which became a beacon of freedom to human beings everywhere else” (10). However, the sea pirates created a government that owned slaves, which were black.
The system of slavery and oppression of Native Americans totally contradicted the foundation of America. Philboyd freed Kilgore at the end of the novel, which was similar to the emancipation of the slaves. I enjoyed reading Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions. The book provided a fresh insight on society, even though it was written in 1973.
I enjoyed the chaos that Kilgore created along his travel to Midland City. His influenced people to rename mirrors to leaks, which implied that mirrors were leaks to other universes. Kilgore also convinced the police department and newspaper to believe that a purely fictional gang, the Pluto Gang, attacked and robbed him. An article was published in the paper, which caused parents to warn their children to watch out for the Pluto Gang.
Vonnegut describes society fairly accurately. The book made me look at history and society in a new light. Book Reports.