Communism In Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron

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Communism can be summarized in this sleek maxim, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” (“What is Communism”). Communism as we know it today is based on the writings of two German economists, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (“What is Communism”). In their book “The Communist Manifesto” published in 1848 they argued that the problems in society were caused by an unequal distribution of wealth (“What is Communism”). In order to obtain happiness for all the distinctions between rich and poor must be abolished, since the rich will not give up their possessions the poor must rebel (“What is Communism”). In the short story “Harrison Bergeron” written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. it portrays a future America in which all are equal. The citizens are forced…show more content…
“Harrison Bergeron” highlights the many imperfections of Communism.
There are many different lens through which literature can be viewed. These different lens are known as critical literary theories. The critical literary theory through which i chose to view “Harrison Bergeron” is Marxism. The critical literary theory of Marxism compares the rich,middle and lower classes. It also discusses how these different classes interact with each other. In addition, there are several questions that one can ask when viewing the text through the critical literary theory of Marxism. One such question is what class does the author fall into, and which class do the characters represent. Furthermore, the character Harrison Bergeron helps reveal one of the major flaws of Communism.
There are several aspects of “Harrison Bergeron” that bring to light the shortcomings of Communism. Harrison Bergeron is great example of what Communism does to an individual and society as a whole. Vonnegut Jr. wrote about Harrison Bergeron, “He is a genius and an athlete, is under handicapped, and should be considered extremely dangerous” (Vonnegut 245). Harrison
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