Rocket Boys

The leader of the Coalwood miners’ union, John Dubonnet quarrels with Homer Sr. throughout Rocket Boys. At the same time, he enthusiastically supports Homer’s experiments with rockets, and even gives him some useful advice about how to prepare rocket fuel and design rocket casings. Dubonnet is a man of great integrity, who has the utmost respect for workers’ rights. Tragically, he becomes a figure of ridicule and mockery after he encourages his workers to continue laboring in the mines instead of going on strike again.
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John Dubonnet Character Timeline in Rocket Boys

The timeline below shows where the character John Dubonnet appears in Rocket Boys. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: The Football Fathers
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Winter comes to Coalwood, and union tension arises. The leader of the miners’ union, John Dubonnet , knows Homer Sr. from high school. In the last ten years, Coalwood has experienced... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
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One night, John Dubonnet visits Homer Sr.’s house. Homer Sr. angrily tells John that he can come to his... (full context)
Chapter 5: Quentin
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
As Homer leaves the Big Store, he sees John Dubonnet . John knows that Homer has plans to build another rocket, and seems proud of... (full context)
Chapter 7: Cape Coalwood
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
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...there is at least fifty more years of coal in the mine. Homer objects that Mr. Dubonnet has said differently, and Homer Sr. angrily insists that Homer never talk to Mr. Dubonnet... (full context)
Chapter 9: Jake Mosby (Auks V-VIII)
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
While he is at the mine, Homer sees Mr. Dubonnet , who continues to encourage him with his rockets. Homer has the idea of putting... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The rocket launch takes place on a Saturday, and Mr. Dubonnet is in attendance, along with Jake Mosby. Homer notices that Jake has brought a strangely... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...is a little traumatized by the sight—he tells Homer that it reminds him of Korea. Mr. Dubonnet suggests to Homer that the BCMA let the rocket fuel “cure” for two weeks. Because... (full context)
Chapter 11: Rocket Candy: Auks XII-XIII
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...go to college and obtain an engineering degree. As Homer Sr. and his son talk, Mr. Dubonnet passes by. Homer Sr. informs Dubonnet that Homer is thinking of becoming an engineer, information... (full context)
Chapter 12: The Machinists: Auks XIV-XV
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
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Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The next weekend, the BCMA has set up another rocket launch. In attendance is Mr. Dubonnet . He asks Homer about the “rounds” he’s making, just to build rockets, and enthusiastically... (full context)
Chapter 19: Picking Up and Going On: Auk XXI
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
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...spot, Homer learns that Jake has gone to Ohio. Leaving the building, he runs into Mr. Dubonnet . Dubonnet tries to tell Homer that he can’t hold himself responsible for Mr. Bykovski’s... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...of Auk XXI. There are at least three dozen Coalwoodians present for the launch, including Mr. Dubonnet and Basil. Even before the rocket fires, Homer knows that it will be a huge... (full context)
Chapter 21: Zincoshine: Auks XXII, A, B, C, and D
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
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Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...Coalwood: Mr. Fuller. He’s totally charmless, and the town instantly dislikes him. He essentially dares Mr. Dubonnet to declare a strike. Mr. Dubonnet doesn’t do so, and the property sale proceeds. Reverend... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
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Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Suddenly, Mr. Dubonnet drives up to Cape Coalwood. He tells Homer Sr. that it’s not right that Fuller... (full context)
Chapter 22: We Do the Math: Auks XXII-XXIV
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
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...evils of “corporate greed”—in other words, the town hates Homer Sr. more than ever. Even Mr. Dubonnet , who’s urged the workers to continue on at the mines, becomes unpopular. (full context)
Chapter 25: The National Science Fair
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
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...and feed their families, but the strikers prevent them from doing so. Mr. Caton begs Mr. Dubonnet for a chance to help the BCMA prepare new nozzles for their presentation, and Mr.... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
...by bus. Many Coalwoodians show up to see Homer off: Basil, Mr. Turner, Melba June, Mr. Dubonnet , Homer Sr., Elsie, Mr. Caton, Mr. Ferro, and the entire BCMA. Just before Homer... (full context)
Chapter 26: All Systems Go: Auks XXVI-XXXI (June 4, 1960)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...Coalwood had been alerted to Homer’s problem. Accompanied by Elsie, Homer Sr. argued “nose-to-nose” with Mr. Dubonnet . In the midst of the argument, Mr. Caton intervened, protesting that he needed to... (full context)