Deportation at Breakfast by Larry Fondation 1957 Term Paper
Excerpt from Term Paper :
Deportation at Breakfast by Larry Fondation. Specifically it will discuss the reasons why I dislike the story. "Deportation at Breakfast" is a very short story that shows a small diner where the owner is abruptly deported by a group of law enforcement, leaving it untended and unsupervised. The narrator "takes over" the kitchen and the diner, making his own and then other patron's breakfast. The story is unreal and even unethical because there are no other employees, no one seems to notice but the narrator, and the owner, "Javier," is taken away from the business he created, while the narrator picks up and takes over without any remorse or regret for the real owner and what's happening in his life.
I dislike this story for many reasons. First, there is no consideration for the owner, Javier. The narrator does not think "what will happen to him," or "what about his business," he just thinks about his breakfast burning on the grill. The author writes, "I could smell my eggs starting to burn. I wasn't quite sure what to do about it. I thought about Javier and stared at my eggs. After some hesitation, I got up from my red swivel stool and went behind the counter" (Fondation). In essence, the narrator profits from Javier's deportation, and Javier suffers greatly. He not only loses his home, he loses his business. Whether he was here illegally or not, he loses out, and there is no compassion or empathy in the story. The narrator simply takes over and starts making money
that is not rightfully his.
Another reason I dislike this story is that the narrator takes advantage of the situation, and that is never addressed in the story, either. The author makes it seem innocent enough. The other people in the diner do not even notice the deportation. (How can that be? That is another area of the story that is unreal. People do not see immigration authorities come in and handcuff the cook? Come on, that is not the way it would happen. Even if the diner had been crowded, it would be hard to miss activities like that.) Only the narrator witnesses it, immediately figures out what is going on, and then takes advantage of the situation because he does not want his eggs to burn.
The customers do not even recognize that he is not the man who took their orders, which is another unreal aspect of the story. When I eat out, I like to know who is serving me and I like to interact with them. I don't see them as just a "server," they are a person, and I tip better if they are friendly and attentive. All of these people are portrayed in the story kind of like zombies. They never relate to Javier or who he is, and they don't even notice when he's removed. I know that people can be that removed and distant from what happens around them, but it gives the story a sense of unreality, and I don't like what it implies. It says that as a people, we don't care about those around us. That may be true, but it doesn't portray us kindly as a people, and I don't like that.
Sources Used in Documents:
Fondation, Larry. "Deportation at Breakfast."
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