The Breakfast: Summary and critical appreciation.
The short story, “The Breakfast”, gives a sharp contrast between simplicity accompanied by contentment and luxury followed by dissatisfaction. The former is represented by a family of cotton pickers. Once, the author was in the rural area for some work. While walking at dawn in the cold autumn, he comes across a family of cotton pickers. They live in a tent. The head of the family is an old man. His son has a dutiful wife and a kid. They are poor cotton-pickers without any savings or pomp of life to boast about.
But unlike urban folk they do not seem to complain. They “have twelve days work” so far. They are thankful to God: “God Almighty its good. We have been eating good for twelve days”. The writer is impressed by their hospitality when they invite him to have a humble breakfast with them. These poor people believe in sharing each other’s lot. They ask the author if he needs a job. They bear their poverty with patience. However this attitude is not found in this life of greed and materialism.
The gratitude and the patience of the family convince us of their nobility which is associated with a life of simplicity. The author conveys an important message that happiness is not necessarily linked to wealth and material gains. The story teller seems to idealise the life of simplicity led by those simple villagers that were thankful to God while the man of city has gone so much materialised that he does not seem to be satisfied despite the heaps on heaps of favours by God Almighty.