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Comparing Yann Martel’s Life Of Pi And Breakfast Of Champions, By Kurt Vonnegut

1449 words - 6 pages

Breakfast of Champions, written by Kurt Vonnegut, is a story of “two lonesome, skinny old men on a planet which was dying fast” (Vonnegut, P.17). One of these old men is Dwayne Hoover, a “fabulously well-to-do” Pontiac Dealer, and the other is Kilgore Trout, a “nobody” writer. This novel looks into their lives leading up to their meeting in Midland City. Life of Pi is a story that is framed by a fictional entry from the author, Yann Martel, who describes how he came to hear Piscine Molitor Patel’s story. Metafiction is a narrative technique in which the work always includes an awareness within the fiction, that it is a work of fiction. Metafiction generally has the narrator establish ...view middle of the document...

The idea of the story with the humanlike animals, is more appealing to the main audience the author is writing for. Furthermore, from the beginning of the novel, the author, Yann Martel, makes it known that the character Pi speaks about own past memories of his voyage on the sea, revealing that Pi is also the narrator. At this point in the novel, readers are subjected to consider that this novel may be of metafiction genre, but cannot be certain until other aspects are analyzed. During the story, the author intercepts and comments at many times: “I can well imagine an atheist’s last words: “White, white! L-L-Love! My God!”—and the deathbed leap of faith. Whereas the agnostic, if he stays true to his reasonable self, if he stays beholden to dry, yeastless factuality, might try to explain the warm light bathing him by saying, ‘Possibly a f-f-failing oxygenation of the b-b-brain,’ and, to the very end, lack imagination and miss the better story” (Martel, P.70). Here Pi stops the introduction of his story and expresses his thoughts on what he has recounted on so far, making it visible that Pi is in control of his story and what will be told, regarding what is happening in it. Through these interjections from the narrator, readers can come to notice the metafiction qualities this novel holds.

Similarly, In Breakfast of Champions, the author, Kurt Vonnegut, uses the strategy of narrative intrusion frequently, moreover it is done through the author storytelling as a character. This strategy reveals the narrators daily routines and personal problems through the story that is already going on, making it noticeable to readers that there is more than just the story being told, going on. For example, as Dwayne and Trout’s stories go on, the author interrupts the world of fiction he is creating: “Patty Keene hadn’t heard the big news yet. Neither had Dwayne, Neither had Kilgore Trout. I only found out about it the day before yesterday” (Vonnegut, p.148). Here, Vonnegut is making it visible that he himself is a character in this story, yet leaves the readers to figure out for themselves about the narrator - Who he is and what is his other story. In addition, as the readers get further into the novel, the author’s story and the story he is making coincide together; as the storyteller interacts with other characters in the novel by turning himself into a character. “I had come to the Arts Festival incognito. I was there to watch a confrontation between two human beings I had created: Dwayne Hoover and Kilgore Trout” (Vonnegut, P.197). By including this awareness, Vonnegut unmasks himself to all readers, as a character of great importance, as well as the narrator himself, who is writing or telling this story. This is unveiled by the end of the novel, to all characters in the story that they are taking part in a story told by someone else, and that the path their life takes, is not being paved by themselves alone, but by this character who is the narrator. “...

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