Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions


Kurt Vonnegut

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Celia Hoover Character Analysis

Dwayne Hoover’s wife and Bunny’s mother. Like Vonnegut’s own mother, Celia commits suicide when she drinks a bottle of Drāno, a type of commercial drain cleaner. Celia struggles with her mental health for several years before she kills herself, yet her family never seems to notice. Celia represents mental illness and suicide within American society, but more specifically, her experiences and the indifference of her family echoes society’s tendency to avoid acknowledging and treating mental illness, and the tragic consequences of that avoidance.

Celia Hoover Quotes in Breakfast of Champions

The Breakfast of Champions quotes below are all either spoken by Celia Hoover or refer to Celia Hoover. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Art, Subjectivity, and Absurdity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dial Press edition of Breakfast of Champions published in 2011.
Chapter 17 Quotes

Listen: Bunny’s mother and my mother were different sorts of human beings, but they were both beautiful in exotic ways, and they both boiled over with chaotic talk about love and peace and wars and evil and desperation, of better days coming by and by, of worse days coming by and by. And both our mothers committed suicide. Bunny’s mother ate Drāno. My mother ate sleeping pills, which wasn’t nearly as horrible.

Related Characters: Kurt Vonnegut (speaker), George / Bunny Hoover, Celia Hoover
Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:
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Breakfast of Champions PDF

Celia Hoover Character Timeline in Breakfast of Champions

The timeline below shows where the character Celia Hoover appears in Breakfast of Champions. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6
Mental Health Theme Icon
...the city looks foreign. “Where am I?” Dwayne asks. He forgets everything—even that his wife, Celia, has committed suicide “by eating Drāno,” and that his son, George, is “a notorious homosexual”... (full context)
Chapter 15
Mental Health Theme Icon
...of the afternoon. Francine’s husband had been killed in Vietnam not long before Dwayne’s wife, Celia, committed suicide. (full context)
Chapter 17
Mental Health Theme Icon
...breathing and clears his mind, then he brushes his hair with a brush his mother, Celia, gave him when he made the rank of Cadet Colonel in military school long ago. (full context)
Mental Health Theme Icon
Each time Bunny came home with more medals, Celia would be so proud, and then she should would tell Bunny that Dwayne was “a... (full context)
Mental Health Theme Icon
Both Celia and Vonnegut’s mother couldn’t “stand to have [their] picture taken.” Whenever anyone aimed a camera... (full context)
Art, Subjectivity, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Capitalism and Consumerism Theme Icon
Luckily, Celia had taught Bunny how to play the piano because his military training was “useless.” The... (full context)
Chapter 23
Mental Health Theme Icon the stomach and suddenly stops. “All you robots what to know why my wife [Celia] ate Drāno?” he cries. “I’ll tell you why: She was that kind of machine!” (full context)
People and Machines Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Dwayne tells Wayne about his wife, Celia, and about Bunny being a homosexual. “White robots are just like black robots,” Dwayne says,... (full context)