Breakfast of Champions Themes & Symbolism

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One of the novel's principle themes is the dehumanization existing in society. The various characters presented are examples of dehumanized people who have been damaged in various ways. The novel presents all of the characters as fictional. While this is manifestly true in any work of fiction, it is rarely acknowledged so bluntly in such clear meta-fictional terms. One character, the narrator, claims outright to have created all other characters through the act of writing; and in the Epilogue one character is confronted with his own fictionalized existence.

This contention is, of course, absurd as the narrator is himself also a fictional character. But the result causes the characters to be viewed as non-human constructions. Thus the typical suspension-of-disbelief enabled by well-crafted fiction is deliberately and consistently thwarted. During the narrator-identified 'spiritual climax of the novel' a bright band of light symbolizes a human being. This is...

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This section contains 1,219 words
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Buy the Breakfast of Champions Study Guide
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