Written after Vonnegut's brief-lived rejection of prose, the novel is a conscious effort to break away from the successful formulas of his earlier writing. Vonnegut openly addresses himself in the role of creator "on a par with the Creator of the Universe," and with a Prospero-like gesture releases the characters from his earlier fiction. He also talks freely of his own personal experiences, including his mother's suicide and his relationship with his psychiatrist.
The result is a colloquial antinovel, a further break from the confines of realistic fiction. Vonnegut undercuts suspense by revealing his plot in the first few chapters. In one of his numerous authorial intrusions, Vonnegut states that his purpose is to bring "chaos to order," to undercut his readers' comfortable expectations. Vonnegut freely ranges in time from 1492 forward into the future, saying that life is like an endless polymer without beginning or end. He stylistically emphasizes this notion of continuity by beginning many of his sentences with the word "And." In another rebellion against the order of realistic fiction, he makes no effort to dish out moral justice; the good and the evil suffer equally.
Other technical experiments in Breakfast for Champions derive from pop art. Vonnegut's felt-tip-pen illustrations reduce experience to its inexorable essence while parodying Americans' tendency to accept simplistic, commercial versions of reality. Their crudeness mocks a culture...
(The entire section is 248 words.)