Conformity In Harrison Bergeron

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We are all told that there is a wrong and right way to live our lives. These people are referring to conforming and not conforming to society. Conformity is a noun that means, “compliance with standards, rules, or laws.” The degrees of conforming go from wearing clothes in public like everyone else to following everything everyone does. There are many pieces of literature on this topic. A novel, short story, and poem proves that conformity is the dull way to live life and keeping individuality may be hard, but is worth it. In M.T. Anderson’s novel Feed, it shows the readers that conforming takes away diversity and makes it easier for a government or powerful business to take over and dictate the world. In Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison…show more content…
Author and feminist Rita Mae Brown once said, “I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” In the dystopian science-fiction short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, it shows conformity taking over the world. “Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence...George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains...He began to think glimmeringly about his abnormal son....but a twenty-one-gun salute in his head stopped that...It was such a doozy that George was white and trembling, and tears stood on the rims of his red eyes. Two of of the eight ballerinas had collapsed….holding their temples” (Vonnegut 1-2). George had something that made him an individual. Instead of making everyone as smart as him, he has to have a handicap on him that makes him lose track of what he was thinking about. He has to suffer because of conformity and to make others feel as smart as him. Without his freedom to speak for himself without interruption, the Handicap General and her co-workers have the power to tell everyone what…show more content…
When like everyone else, you will be understood, respected, loved, and go through a life with no bullying. Conforming doesn’t make you special. When you die, you will just be a statistic. Those who are written in textbooks, are household names, and have holidays aren’t famous for being like everyone else. A poem named “The Unknown Citizen” by W. H. Auden encourages this idea. “He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be/ One against whom there was no official complaint,/And all the reports on his conduct agree/ That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint, (Auden).” This poem talks about a man who was loved by many and was called nothing but positive things. Conformity leads to having a comfortable presence for everyone else. “For his Union reports that he paid his dues,/(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)/...Social Psychology workers found/That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink./... bought a paper every day/...normal in every way./... fully insured,/...once in hospital but left it cured (Auden).” The man in the poem was perfect for this world. Due to him conforming so well, he had benefits that not everyone was able to have like being popular and having insurance. Being like everyone else, in this case, doesn’t seem so bad yet. This poem seems very pro-conformity until the end, where it takes a turn. “He was married
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