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.
Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th and 213th amendments of the constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General. (1) “Unceasing vigilance of agents” is a satire on government for transgressing its control over the citizens. It turns out to be a society in which the government curbs the individuality of citizens under the façade of ensuring equality. Stanley Schatt states: In any leveling process, what really is lost, according to Vonnegut, is beauty, grace, and wisdom.
A dystopia is a nonexistent place where everything is awful. Many stories written in a dystopian society tend to open up as if it was a utopia- the opposite of a dystopia. In “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut the startup of the short story appears to be a utopia, and everything seems like a perfect futuristic society. However, it quickly becomes unmasked as a dystopia by the oppression and fear for this society to be “perfect” and “equal”. "The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal.
The use of description and multiple plot lines demonstrates how true equality can actually be a detriment to society. Vonnegut makes it clear to the reader that if society continues in this pursuit of ultimate equality, people will lose the ability to compete and be unique, making them less individual. Society progresses today because of the skilled people who utilize their distinct talents to benefit society. If everyone has the same skills as everyone else, people are not able to cultivate their talents and in turn use them to better
This time the gang tries to beat them up but this time they have a new strategy. Peter hides his phone and calls their principal while all this is happening. The strategy works however their principal doesn’t like the idea of students having her phone number. Feeling hopeless and out of options the boys go to Garvey for support, he tells them to fight without words, left confused and slightly angry Cole is not sure what to do. The next time the gang comes at them Cole decides to sit down because he figures that they wouldn’t fight people sitting down.
The narrator longed for a brother to race, climb, and box with, but when he found out Doodle might not be able to do that, he planned his revenge: “It was bad enough having an invalid brother, but having one who possibly was not all there was unbearable, so I began to make plans to kill him by smothering him with a pillow” (Hurst 464). Before the narrator could kill him, Doodle grins up at him, startling the narrator. Doodle was underdeveloped, any excess amount of strain on his heart could kill him. In the winter of his third year, he learned to crawl. Until Doodle could walk, the narrator had to push him around in a go kart.
One theme that emerges from the story is that true equality is impossible to achieve, no matter how much pain a superior bring to others. Kurt Vonnegut develops this theme throughout the story from page 1 to page 6. Early in the story, Vonnegut describes two people, George and Hazel Bergeron, as ordinary people watching television. While watching ballerinas perform, George hears a loud and painful noise coming from his mental handicaps. At the same time, the ballerinas on television fell to the floor as a result of the noise they heard (p. 1).
The real meaning of the ballerina: Harrison Bergeron The ballerinas in the television a mystery in itself. “Harrison Bergeron” written by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr, in 1961. The short story is about a new society far into the future, were people are now equal in every which way. But some people that cannot suppress there mental capability they are punish by the government, and make them feel like the people around them. One man single handily tries to fight against the system, but he meant a terrible end (Vonnegut, Jr.).
In the short story “Harrison Bergeron, equality is clearly misunderstood, therefore I disagree that everyone in the story is equal. Although everyone was suppose to be equal because of the Handicapper General, they weren't. Equal doesn’t mean everyone thinks or speaks on the same level, equal means that everyone has the same opportunity and chances as others do.The correct way to ensure equality is to encourage success and put infrastructure in place to help and motivate those who are born into situations which limit their opportunities, and in this story, the government has not done this. The government’s idea is to enforce equality by handicapping talented people and preventing those with less talent from bettering themselves.In this story, the government's strategy is "equality by limitation." In American society, it should be "equality by opportunity."
Sameness allows for the cultivation of insecurity and fear in lieu of the success of others. Rather than viewing differences gifts among individuals, those who desire sameness fear not being identical with others. Sameness is uniformity; it is the printing of one piece of art, rather than several unique original pieces. A cautionary tale regarding sameness can be found in Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron.” In “Harrison Bergeron,” Vonnegut crafts a dystopian future America that has concerned itself with sameness. Everyone was forced to be equal, or rather, identical in uniform and totalitarian manner.