Illegal immigration was a big topic in the nineties when the short story Deportation at Breakfast by Larry Fondation was written, and the topic is still very prevalent today. Deportation at breakfast tackles this huge social and cultural issue by looking at a very small, specific instance, which depicts a case of deportation and various people’s reactions to it.
The short story takes place at a classic, American diner. Our protagonist, whom we do not get the name nor gender of, is the character we follow through the story. We don’t get any real direct characterization, as we don’t get any appearance-description. In general, the character is actually pretty vague.
We might conclude that they are unconfrontational, based on this situation: ‘’As I began to come back from behind the counter to my stool, six new customers came through the door… I thought of telling them I didn’t work there. But perhaps they were hungry.
I poured their coffee.’’ This line also shows that the protagonist just kind of ‘goes with the flow’. Though it is hard to conclude what the character’s motive is based on the text, as I previously stated, we don’t get much information about them. They could also be very fast to take on responsibility, as evident by this line: ‘’Maybe I’d take out a help-wanted ad in the paper tomorrow.
I had never been in the restaurant business. There was no way I could run this place alone.’’ The second they get the chance, they take on the responsibility of running a diner, so maybe they are also searching for the American dream, by taking it away from someone else. The character’s function in the story is to view the topic of illegal immigration and deportation from a person who’s not an illegal immigrant’s perspective.