Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

by

Kurt Vonnegut

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Eliot Rosewater Character Analysis

An “eccentric millionaire” and Kilgore Trout’s one and only fan. Eliot Rosewater talks Fred T. Barry into inviting Kilgore to the Arts Festival in Midland City by offering Barry use of a valuable El Greco painting to display during the Festival. Rosewater believes that Kilgore is “the greatest living American novelist” and should be the President of the United States. He spends eighteen thousand dollars on a private investigator to find Kilgore just so he can send him fan mail, and he has a personal library containing most of Kilgore’s collected works. Of course, Kilgore is a complete failure, a “nobody” writer, yet Eliot Rosewater finds extreme value in his work. In this way, Rosewater emphasizes the subjectivity of art, which implies that art’s value is neither inherent nor universal.
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Eliot Rosewater Character Timeline in Breakfast of Champions

The timeline below shows where the character Eliot Rosewater appears in Breakfast of Champions. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Art, Subjectivity, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...1972, Kilgore receives his first piece of fan mail from an “eccentric millionaire” named Eliot Rosewater. Kilgore is “so invisible” that Rosewater must hire a private investigator to find him. In... (full context)
People and Machines Theme Icon
Kilgore considers Rosewater’s letter “an invasion of privacy.” Vonnegut interrupts to say that Kilgore Trout is entirely his... (full context)
Art, Subjectivity, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...he has not read any of Kilgore’s books, but Kilgore comes “highly recommended by Eliot Rosewater.” Inside the envelope is a check for one thousand dollars. Kilgore is “suddenly fabulously well-to-do.” (full context)
Art, Subjectivity, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...a “fabulously valuable oil painting” to showcase during the Festival. He can’t afford one, but Rosewater has an “El Greco worth three million dollars or more,” which he promises to display... (full context)
Chapter 20
Art, Subjectivity, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...“acknowledge the greatness of Kilgore Trout.” He has read all of Kilgore’s books—those in Eliot Rosewater’s personal library at least—and he stares at Kilgore with admiration. “We are so ready for... (full context)