Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

by

Kurt Vonnegut

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Breakfast of Champions: Epilogue Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Fred T. Barry postpones the Festival on account of Dwayne’s outburst, but no one bothers to tell Kilgore. As he begins walking toward the arts center, Vonnegut sits “waiting to intercept him, about six blocks away.” The part of town where Vonnegut sits is deserted and quiet, and Kilgore is the only one around.
When Fred T. Barry forgets to tell Kilgore that the Festival has been cancelled, this again underscores the subjectivity of art. Rosewater is Kilgore’s fan, not Barry, and Barry doesn’t even think about Kilgore when the Festival falls apart.
Themes
Art, Subjectivity, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Vonnegut gets out of the car to approach Kilgore, but Kilgore tuns and walks quickly in the other direction. Vonnegut jumps in the car and begins to chase him. “Whoa! Whoa! Mr. Trout!” Vonnegut yells. “Whoa! Mr. Trout!” He tells Kilgore that he is “a friend” and that he “has nothing to fear.” Kilgore finally stops. “Mr. Trout,” Vonnegut says. “I am a novelist, and I created you for use in my books.” He explains to Kilgore that they are in a novel, and then he offers to answer any questions Kilgore has. “If I were in your spot, I would certainly have lots of questions,” Vonnegut says.
Vonnegut’s offer to explain the novel to Kilgore is another example of the subjectivity of art. The meaning of Vonnegut’s novel may not be readily apparent to Kilgore, and he wants to explain. Of course, Kilgore just thinks he is crazy, which again underscores insanity and mental health, both in the novel and in American society since Vonnegut operates in both.
Themes
Art, Subjectivity, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Mental Health Theme Icon
“Under similar spiritual conditions,” Vonnegut tells Kilgore, “Count Tolstoy freed his serfs. Thomas Jefferson freed his slaves. I am going to set at liberty all the literary characters who have served me so loyally during my writing career.” Kilgore stares at him, disbelievingly. “Mr. Trout,” Vonnegut says, “you are free.” Vonnegut considers shaking Kilgore’s hand, but it is wrapped in a bandage. “Bon voyage,” Vonnegut says to Kilgore and “disappears.” 
When Vonnegut sets Kilgore free, he does so because of Kilgore’s “unwavering light.” Kilgore is a character in the novel, but Vonnegut treats him as an actual person, with actual thoughts and feelings, and Vonnegut believes this should be respected.
Themes
Race and Racism Theme Icon
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