Breakfast of Champions

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In the novel Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut two main characters lead separate lives and their insanity brings them together. Kilgore Trout is a struggling science fiction author who was invited to an art festival in Midland City. Dwayne Hoover is a resident of Midland City who owns a Pontiac dealership and many businesses in the city. Both of these men showed signs of mental illness through their isolation and their actions. Their behavior could be judged reasonably because they had numerous hardships in their lives, Hoover showed signs of legitimate mental illness, and the author of the book was expressing frustration with American society in the 1970s.

Trout and Hoover had some tough experiences in their lives. Hoover’s wife committed suicide by ingesting Drano and the “chemicals” in his head made him act crazy. Trout was divorced 3 times and had a son who left home at the age of 14 to go to Vietnam. These characters These characters are strange because the author, Kurt Vonnegut, has had a lot of hardships in his life such as his sisters dying or his depression. Vonnegut uses the insanity of these characters to deal with the tragedies of life and expose negative aspects of society.

The insanity of these characters helps to develop some of the main themes of the novel, decreased worth of human life and humans as machines. At the end of the book, Hoover reads Trout’s novel entitled “Now It Can Be Told.” This book tells the reader that they are the only creature on Earth with free will and everyone else is a machine made by the creator of the universe to test the human subject. After convincing himself that every other human was a robot, Hoover ceased to show empathy for anyone “I used to think that the electric chair was a shame. I used to think war was a shame--and automobile accidents and cancer...Why should I care what happens to machines?” Through his insanity, Dwayne shows the opinion of humankind that some individuals have. They think...
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