"Breakfast of Champions"
In Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions, the narrator believes Americans are doing the best to live "like the characters in story books" (pg. 49). He believes that the problems our planet faces are a direct result of our individual desires to attain our story book perfect lives. Through this "colorful" and outrageous story of two white men, Kilgore Trout and Dwayne Hoover, Vonnegut twists in some of his concerns and criticisms of the typical American life with humor and sarcasm. His criterion is so insightful and ahead of his time that I could not believe it was published in 1973.
Living these "story book" lives "encourages people to kill one another and themselves for the effect of a dramatic ending" (pg. 2). Like when Dwayne Hoover took her own life by swallowing Drano. Living as these types of characters means not having control over our own lives, lack of free will, and applies social normative constrains that all would abide and be hindered by. It means that "every person would be exactly as the other" (pg. 11). We want to have everything our neighbors and our neighbor's neighbor has to we considered equal. "And then Earthlings discovered tools. Suddenly agreeing with friends could be a form of suicide or worse" (pg. 52). This is the monster that drives this consumer nation we have in America today. We want to buy this and that and are unknowingly killing our economy. Nowadays, we can't even die a and be debt free, debt is inherited. Today we import the majority of our products because they are cheaper to produce elsewhere, but in doing this we are eliminating jobs and destroying the middle class. We don't realize that in serving ourselves, we diminish the chances of the many.
Vonnegut implied that humans were nothing more than robots, trained to follow the same routine day after day. "Their imaginations insisted that nobody changed much from day to day. Their imaginations were flywheels on the ramshackle machinery of the...
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