Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

by

Kurt Vonnegut

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Cyprian Ukwende Character Analysis

An emergency room physician at the hospital in Midland City. Dr. Ukwende is a black man from Nigeria, but since America doesn’t “produce nearly enough doctors for all the sick people it has,” they must bring in doctors from other countries to make up the difference. Dr. Ukwende is on Martha, the disaster response vehicle that responds to Dwayne Hoover’s public mental breakdown, but he also witnesses Dwayne’s mental health begin to unravel in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn. When Dwayne walks out into the parking lot and hallucinates that the concrete has turned into “a trampoline,” he goes “blooping” across the pavement, but all Ukwende does is comment on the weather. He completely ignores Dwayne’s behavior, which is evidence of his deteriorating mental state—in essence, “a cry for help”—and this echoes mainstream society’s tendency to avoid facing and dealing with mental illness. Ukwende is a doctor, the very person who is charged with the health and well-being of others, yet he does nothing to help Dwayne, who ultimately winds up hurting several other people during an episode of acute insanity.
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Cyprian Ukwende Character Timeline in Breakfast of Champions

The timeline below shows where the character Cyprian Ukwende appears in Breakfast of Champions. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Race and Racism Theme Icon
...hour, a black man stands at the desk in front of him. The man, named Cyprian Ukwende , is a physician from Nigeria who is working in Midland City’s emergency room. He... (full context)
Chapter 11
The Destruction of the Planet Theme Icon
Capitalism and Consumerism Theme Icon
...the hotel restaurant for breakfast. He sits alone in the empty dining room, except for Cyprian Ukwende , who sit a few feet away. Dwayne knows where he is now. He looks... (full context)
Capitalism and Consumerism Theme Icon
...direction of his dealership. He looks around to see if anyone is watching and finds Cyprian Ukwende standing on the sidewalk. “Nice day,” Ukwende says. (full context)
Chapter 24
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Aboard Martha is two physicians, Cyprian Ukwende and Khashdrahr Miasma, who is from Bangladesh. A young “white American” named Eddie Key is... (full context)
People and Machines Theme Icon
Mental Health Theme Icon
...Kilgore is one of the “walking wounded,” and he holds up a bloody hand for Dr. Ukwende to assess. Kilgore had grabbed Dwayne from behind as he gave Francine Pefko the beating... (full context)
The Destruction of the Planet Theme Icon
Aboard Martha, Dr. Ukwende tries to remove Dwayne’s shoes, but he has waded through Sugar Creek as well, and... (full context)
Capitalism and Consumerism Theme Icon
Mental Health Theme Icon
...a moment, Dwayne’s “awareness returns to Earth,” and he begins to talk lucidly. He tells Dr. Ukwende that he is going to open a new health club in Midland City. Dwayne plans... (full context)