Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

by

Kurt Vonnegut

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A white waitress in one of Dwayne Hoover’s Burger Chef franchises. Patty is a seventeen-year-old “brand-new adult,” and she is working as a waitress to pay her dying father’s hospital bills. She has already failed out of high school, but Patty is “stupid on purpose.” She has programmed herself, “in the interest of survival,” to be “an agreeing machine instead of a thinking machine.” Patty does not have any original thoughts of her own and instead just thinks what others think. She is raped by Don Breedlove behind the George Hickman Bannister Memorial Fieldhouse after a basketball game, but she never reports it because with her father “dying of cancer of the colon and then cancer of the everything,” there is “enough trouble already.” Patty is an obvious example of violence against women in American society, but she also personifies the common stereotype that women, especially beautiful women, must also be stupid.
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Patty Keene Character Timeline in Breakfast of Champions

The timeline below shows where the character Patty Keene appears in Breakfast of Champions. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15
Capitalism and Consumerism Theme Icon
Dwayne’s waitress at Burger Chef, Patty Keene, is a seventeen-year-old girl working to pay off her father’s hospital bills. He father... (full context)
People and Machines Theme Icon
Dwayne isn’t sexually attracted to Patty, although he does appreciate that she is pretty. Patty is “stupid on purpose.” She had... (full context)
Capitalism and Consumerism Theme Icon
Patty eyes Dwayne. He “can solve so many of her problems with the money and power... (full context)
Art, Subjectivity, and Absurdity Theme Icon
“I guess that’s not the right word,” Patty says. Like most people in Midland City, Patty is “used to apologizing for her use... (full context)
Art, Subjectivity, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Patty herself failed English in high school when she failed to appreciate Ivanhoe, and she was... (full context)
People and Machines Theme Icon
Mental Health Theme Icon
Dwayne continues to repeat the last word of each of Patty’s sentences, but she doesn’t seem to notice or mind. It matters very little what Dwayne... (full context)
People and Machines Theme Icon
...father of her “destroyed fetus” was Don Breedlove, the married father of three who raped Patty Keene behind the George Bannister Memorial Fieldhouse. (full context)
Chapter 24
Art, Subjectivity, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...is coming to them in the end,” Vonnegut writes. Except for Don Breedlove, who raped Patty Keene behind the Bannister Memorial Fieldhouse. Don was in the kitchen fixing a gas oven... (full context)