19 November 2012
Breakfast of Champions:
Repercussions of Having a Unique Sexuality
The symbol planet Mercury, used by the transgendered community, symbolizes a crescent and cross, the male and female principles of harmony in an individual. Human sexuality refers to the sexual attraction between two people, which is determined by their sexual orientation. Whether someone’s attraction remains towards the opposite sex (heterosexuality), to the same sex (homosexuality), or has both of these tendencies (bisexuality), the question of sexuality has remained a major quandary since people started to portray their unique sexualities. Lesbians and gays have always existed. “Between each of us and our sex, the West has placed a never-ending demand for truth: it is up to us to extract the truth of sex, since this truth is beyond its grasp; it is up to sex to tell us our truth, since sex is what holds it in darkness” (Foucault 1). Sex and sexuality have a direct relationship. It is a fact that Western culture has always promoted sex and sexuality more so than other cultures, like the Japanese, Indian, or even Chinese. However, talking about sexuality and related ideas like these were deemed appropriate so long as they practiced heterosexuality. “What Catholicism and most other modern Christian churches vigorously deny is just how much homosexuality was not only tolerated, but practiced by many of its founding fathers, and the degree of toleration, if not veneration, it received. Afrocentrics often deny that homosexuality was a feature of African cultures in ancient times” (Choe 1). Catholic and Christian churches refused to accept homosexual people and the public eschewed them. However, this attitude remained hypocritical because many founders of church practiced homosexuality and other forbidden acts such as masturbation and adultery. Sexuality remains a highly debated topic today. Breakfast of Champions, written to depict the stories of two lonesome, white, fairly old men, develops into a critique of first-world problems and the troubles faced by the two major characters. In Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. portrays the repercussions of having a unique sexuality through characterizations of Kilgore Trout and Dwayne Hoover, appeals to logos, and his style of writing.
Kurt Vonnegut displays Kilgore Trout’s characterization and his sexuality. Like many Americans in the novel, Trout has a unique sexuality. However, the characterization that Vonnegut connects Trout with provides a justification of his likes and dislikes. Kilgore Trout, a catalyst for other characters in Breakfast of Champions, eventually becomes a father figure for Hoover by the end of the novel. Trout’s perception of sexuality surpasses that of other characters, except for Dwayne Hoover. In the beginning of the novel, Kilgore Trout exposes himself to many dilemmas, which eventually leads to “The police [catching] him [Trout] in the act of pulling up his trousers… supposed that they had caught him committing some public nuisance, had caught him working with an old man’s limited palette of excrement and alcohol” (Vonnegut 76). Kilgore Trout last sees a car hurtling toward him at high speeds before he pulls up his trousers in a public place. Trout gets mugged and the thieves steal his money, keys, and other valuable items that he possesses. The police essentially think that Kilgore Trout engages in a sexual act in a public area. The area where the police locate Trout consists of people who were poor and black, and people that were believed to be of homosexual nature. Since Trout was not popular or respected at that time, the police have no choice but to think of him as a reprobate of public regulations and policies. Kilgore Trout has an unfortunate tendency to arrive at a wrong place at the wrong time, and unfortunately for him, the incident with the police happens to be one. At this point, no one has any idea about...