In the short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., it is the year 2081 and the society was finally considered equal. However, not everyone found this new environment fair or equal in any way. Stronger and more intelligent citizens were to use handicaps to weaken their talents and abilities. Everyone coped with the pain except for the strongest, most handsome, and intelligent man in town, Harrison Bergeron who had “carried three hundred pounds” (Vonnegut 4). Three hundred pounds is a lot of weight compared to any other person at the time.
It is the year 2081 in an era where equality rules over everybody. That is, everyone except a young man named Harrison Bergeron who believes that the equality is overlooked and is actually negative in society. In the short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, the main character Harrison defies the cultural norm and breaks free from the supposed equality. Vonnegut makes a point to show that he goes to great lengths to show that sometimes we have to take risks to achieve freedom. The fact that Harrison is confident, aggressive, and rebellious proves the fact that freedom sometimes can only be found through risks that can put everything at stake.
For thousands of years, humans have had anything but equality. We’ve had enslaved each other, restricted peoples’ basic rights, and made people follow inhumane laws. In a perfect (utopian) society, everyone is equal, but, with equality, injustice always follows. Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” is a poem set in year 2081 where the government has made society overly equal. The government handicaps the citizens who are above average in intelligence, beauty, strength, and speed.
Comparing and contrasting 2081 to Harrison Bergeron Admit it, one time you were bored or sat down with nothing to do and couldn’t help but imagine how life would be if everyone was equal, don’t even try denying it, you’ve thought of that at least once in your life, but as any good writer would do, they’d write their thoughts down and turn it into a story, that’s exactly what Kurt Vonnegut did. Just imagine living a life where no one gets compared to others in any way. We all wish for a society like that, but Kurt showed us how equality can negatively affect our society. But that’s not the our main idea in this essay, our main idea is to highlight the comparisons and contrasts between the story “Harrison Bergeron” and the movie version “2081”. To begin with, Both the story and the movie had the same introduction/ Opening; “Everybody was finally equal.
This story is about a society where everyone is forced to be equal because the government terrorizes it citizens. People who are smart get there thoughts washed away, people strong and athletic where weights to make them weaker and slower, and people beautiful are forced to wear masks. Competition plays a big role in their dystopian society because since nobody competes, everyone is the same. This is what makes their dystopian society much like our modern day society.
Character types in this story is a vital part considering that Adam and Aaron are both for the most part flat character types and Charles and Cal are both dynamic character types. If any of the characters changed to doing only the right or wrong thing the theme would not be clear. This story seems to also have an allusion within it. This story seems to make a reference to Cain and Abel. Charles was jealous of Adam because their father Cyrus favored Adam over him and same with Cal and Aaron when Adam favored Aaron over Cal.
Harrison Bergeron is a dystopian science-fiction short story written by Kurt Vonnegut, which was first published in October of 1996. This short story takes place on 2081, the year in which equality had finally arrived. In this short story, all citizens are described to be equal in every aspect of life; physical appearance, physical strengths, and mental intelligence. By obtaining equality, they have lost uniqueness and freedom, which has become a negative effect on all the society. Harrison Bergeron was an amusing and interesting story to read.
Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else,” (Vonnegut). Both of these stories describe the way of life the future could be like if the government is granted too much power. It shows us that we should keep limits on what the government should be able to do; find a happy medium between what is guiding people to have moral actions, and what is controlling people, such as a dictatorship.
“All utopias are dystopias. The term "dystopia" was coined by fools that believed a "utopia" can be functional.” ( A.E. Samaan) Dystopia is like North Korea they believe their society has no other option or say in their own lives. Dystopias are based on human misery, a protagonist that questions society, and they serve as warnings to contemporary man. Dystopias are the complete opposite of utopias.