Compare And Contrast Night And Harrison Bergeron

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Almost everyone has read a science fiction novel. Science fiction novels that are especially popular are often those that portray dystopian futures. Stories of this sort depict far-fetched scenarios in which every part of life is unfair or miserable. Although these tales may seem far-fetched and implausible, there are instances in human history which mirror them. For instance, the Holocaust of World War II is an example of such a scenario. It was very real, but to someone who did not know about the history of the world, it would seem like a thought so vile that it could only come from an absurdly abominable mind. Many people who were unlucky enough to have experienced the Holocaust have written memoirs about their struggles. One such …show more content…

“Harrison Bergeron” is a short story that develops some of the same themes as Night, yet it does so in a much more satirical way. Both Night by Elie Wiesel and “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut develop the theme of good and evil through smaller themes such as loss of humanity and psychological warfare. Prisoners of the concentration camps in Night lose their sense of humanity and decency throughout the book in an obvious display of evil. In the beginning of the book, the Jews of Sighet are optimistic about their possibility of a fulfilling future. After they are deported from the ghetto, however, their moods begin to shift. By the time the Jews reach the camps of Buna and Gleiwitz, they have lost almost all of their good human nature. This fact is shown by both interactions between prisoners and Elie’s own thoughts. As the Jews continue their journey to their new camp of Gleiwitz, Elie observes, “We were masters of nature, masters of the world. We had forgotten everything—death, fatigue, our natural needs. Stronger than cold or hunger, stronger than the shots and the desire to die, condemned and wandering, mere numbers, we were the only men on earth” (83). Elie’s words demonstrate both his and the prisoners’ state of despair. By …show more content…

This method of evil is present throughout the entire novel. The oppressors of the Jews use psychological tactics to gain influence over them. As he is forced to board a train to Birkenau, Elie narrates, “The Hungarian lieutenant went among us with a basket and collected the last [valuable] possessions from those who no longer wished to taste the bitterness of terror. ‘There are eighty of you in this wagon,’ added the German officer. ‘If anyone is missing, you’ll all be shot, like dogs’” (22). By taking the valuables of the people boarding the train, the Hungarian lieutenant degrades them. He manipulates his subjects by making them believe that they are somehow less than human and do not deserve their own belongings. Also, it is very unlikely that the Germans will count all the passengers of the train, but by threatening to shoot them if they do not all stay in the train, the German officer exhibits his dominance over them. The Jews do not know for a fact that they will be counted upon their arrival, but the very possibility of being shot is enough to dismay them. Such a great fear of dying overwhelms them that they are forced to obey the commands given to them. In a similar way to the examples in Night, the characters in “Harrison Bergeron” experience psychological warfare from their government. While he talks to his wife about cheating on his

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