Comparing Collectivism In Harrison Bergeron And Ayn Rand's Anthem

Good Essays
Today, the debate that perplexes society is whether collectivism provides answer for simplicity amongst a civilization. True collectivists believe in altruism, and these altruists believe the only way to bring a society together is by destroying individualism. Democracies believe that individualists remain the only way to keep society 's bonds intact. The stories “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut and Anthem by Ayn Rand draws the line between the so-called perfect utopia versus an imperfect dystopia. One can see there are many similarities between “Harrison Bergeron” and Anthem. In “Harrison Bergeron” written by Kurt Vonnegut, and Anthem by Ayn Rand, both novelists define equality throughout the societies. According to Vonnegut’s “Harrison…show more content…
Upon; as a matter of fact, it states, “It is our second Transgression of Preference, for we do not think of all our brothers as we must, but only of one, and their name is Liberty 5-3000”(Rand 41). For one to love someone more than their brothers is a transgression. People who have transgressions in Anthem are special and are limited by the government so they can not exceed and live up to their true potential. Not to mention, in “Harrison Bergeron” the text reads, “Harrison Bergeron age fourteen” she said in a grackle squawk, “has just escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. He is a genius and an athlete, is under handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous”(Vonnegut 3). Likewise, to be handicapped is to be special, but for Harrison to be seen as under handicapped is that he is underestimated for his true”dangers’ and what he is truly capable of. His transgression is also unique and rare to a society of all equalism and therefore is also restrained by the government to reach his true potential. Both Equality and Harrison are known for having transgressions too powerful and dangerous in their societies. Their transgressions limit them to succeed and reach their true potential, but how they react to their transgressions is what makes them truly…show more content…
In fact, Rand states, “We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE, One, indivisible and forever”(19). No one is seen as their own personal individual. Although, everything throughout society is seen as a whole, Anthem’s societies believe in the thought of collectivism because it destroys the individualism within societies. Correspondingly Vonnegut stated, “ Ordinarily, there was a certain symmetry, a military neatness to the handicaps issued to the strong people, but Harrison looked like a walking junkyard. In the race of life Harrison carried three hundred pounds”(3). Harrison’s transgression separating him from the collectivism made his life hard. They overworked him to try and beat him down because of his “complex”, but simple transgression he cannot control. It is clear both societies believe collectivism is the future to maintaining a stable community, but will the thought of some individuals within the society break it
Get Access