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Kurt Vonnegut: A Literary Analysis

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“The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal”1 is a statement that in the mouth of the American writer should sound at least victorious. However, Kurt Vonnegut in the opening line of his dystopian short story Harrison Bergeron creates a highly ironical declaration, which he later ridicules by the following story. The author who gained his fame by writing the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, describes the world supposedly equal and free, but entirely bound by the laws that command the lives of people. That describes also fairly well the second short story 2 B R 0 2 B, which title refers to the famous phrase “to be or not to be”2 from William Shakespeare 's Hamlet, as mentioned in the text, “the trick telephone number that people who didn 't…show more content…
In the Harrison Bergeron the interpersonal realtions are shallow, inconsequent, they do not mean much if the police can take away a fourteen year old child and the parents do not mourn them even for a day. However, on the other hand, in 2 B R 0 2 B the father 's reactions are very human and mostly emotional. The reader can gather different conclusions, depending on what will be the crucial element. In that case it would be safe to say that both of this societies are going to deteriorate sooner or later. In the first one, there is not enough humanity left in people, they are crippled and negatively influenced so heavily and from very young age, that ther is no place for salvation for them. Although, there is still hope for the world where for someone to be born, someone else needs to die. Enough people who rediscover in themselves feelings, who decide to fight, not to die, as per governments rule, and the society may be rebuilt once again, on the basis of the family being the most important, but also the strongest unit of the society. Once Vonnegut asked “what should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”19 It beautifuly links with the quote from his other work, Cat 's Cradle, “there is love enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look,”20 and by combining those two he creates the perfect utopia, with love, and with it, a family, the force that powers the world and the society. Both, the society and the family are interdependernt, the first needs the second to prosper, the second needs the first to
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