Breakfast of Champions’ Chapters 6-10

by Nick

Some more thoughts and responses.

Chapter 6

“There were two full moons. The new Mildred Barry Memorial Center for the Arts was a translucent sphere on stilts, and it was illumined from the inside now–and it looked like a moon” (65)

This pairs nicely with the idea in the preface of duality and the difference between things like Armistice Day and Veterans’ Day. Here the man-made inorganic attempts to replicate the natural. This might correlate with Dwayne coming to an awareness that isn’t quite revealed at the end of the chapter. But I’d bet he’s realizing that all these inorganic replicas of success and happiness (money, property, etc.) or companionship (his dog) don’t quite scratch the itch. The imagery might also refer back to how everyone often quantifies other people as machines. The moon and the structure suggest the difference between seeing people simply as simple and singular things whereas the moon hints at a more organic system closer to how humans actually exist. That gets clearer for me when I think about how the moon has cycles and a natural movement throughout space and time that the dome does not.

Chapter 7

“It fills such a need, this machine, and it’s so easy to operate” (69)

Trout’s talking about the projector in the dirty movie theater he tries sleeping in. I interpret the projector as suggesting all those little things we domineer in order to feel in control of our lives. Just as it’s so easy and tempting to think we are the only ones on Earth with free will or the ability to feel pain, etc. People need some real or imagined sense of power to affirm their existence. Infinitesimal things like this machine allow us a small assurance that we can change the world.

Chapter 8

“Their childhoods were over. They were dying now” (74)

I like how simple both of these sentences are and how quickly they express that increased understanding faced by anyone who leaves childhood. One doesn’t have to attain adulthood to learn the fear of living. All you have to do is leave childhood and all those nightmares you didn’t even know existed will stare you down.

The Pluto Gang (76-8) – Illustrates the importance of ideas and how slippery our understanding of the world is. The Pluto Gang grows out of a small comment Trout made and soon enough the word spreads that this group (which doesn’t exist) exists and is incredibly dangerous. This demonstrates both the mind’s constructive capability and our insane capacity to believe anything.

I didn’t have anything for chapters 9 & 10.

Any thoughts on Breakfast of Champions?