Harrison Bergeron Essay Claim: Being equal isn’t always fair. Intro: What if someone had to wear a handicap? Or what if someone had to be treated exactly like everyone else?
The people of the United States fight and strive for an absolute “equal” society, but is it what’s really wanted? “Harrison Bergeron,” a short story written by Kurt Vonnegut, uses satire to describe the deficiency in our idea of a truly “equal” society. Throughout the story, Vonnegut describes the torture and discomfort the government administers among the people, and though they were “equal,” they were not balanced. Vonnegut uses characterization and word choice to warn his readers of the potential drawbacks of a truly “equal” society. He warns normalcy would become the base of thought, and people would become incapable of emotion.
In Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, “Harrison Bergeron”, he explores this equality idea in a in 2081 setting where every man, woman, and child are on the same level of intelligence. Although in Kurt Vonnegut’s story the government is appearing to want equality, in all reality they really just want power and control. To begin the Harrison Bergeron story, George and Hazel Bergeron’s son Harrison is taken away to be put in prison. Following this, they live in a society where “nobody was smarter than anybody else”(Vonnegut 1387), everyone is forced to wear head capps and follow the governments every rule.
In the short story, “Harrison Bergeron” Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. relies on the use of irony to indicate where our country will stand once we have gained total equality amongst each other. The theme in “Harrison Bergeron” is that the government cannot enforce equality within the people. The author creates a fictional visualization of the future in the year 2081, where the government controls the people and tortures them in order to maintain “equal opportunity” in their world to prove why it is impossible to achieve absolute equality in the world. Vonnegut dives into a whole other level of uniformity in Harrison Bergeron by focusing on eliminating advantages in appearance, intelligence, strength, and other unique abilities rather than focusing on
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.
“Harrison Bergeron” is a short fiction written by Kurt Vonnegut, the story is set in the year 2081, and it talks about a futuristic society where all people are equal. No one is smarter, beautiful or stronger than the other, and if someone happens to be better than the others they find themselves compelled by The United States Handicapper General to wear what they call “handicaps” in order to bring down their abilities to the most basic levels as the others. Throughout the story, Vonnegut expresses a strong and vigorous political and social criticism of some historical events in the US during 1960s such as the Cold War and Communism, television and American Culture and Civil Rights Movement. “Harrison Bergeron” was published in 1961 during that time several events were happening around the world in general and in the US in specific which was engaged in a series of political and economic crisis with the communist Soviet Union know as The
The protagonist and title character, Harrison Bergeron, also was affected by absolute power. His strength and uniqueness made him believe that he should be “emperor of the world”. That thought also lead to his defeat. The theme of absolute power corrupts in this story can also be compared to of that in Divergent by Veronica Roth. In the novel, Chicago had become split into five groups based on personalities.
One common afternoon in the year of 2081, when everyone was equal, Hazel and George Bergeron were in their lovely living room watching television. Suddenly, a news reporter with a severe speech impediment came on. After trying many times to say, “Good morning ladies and gentlemen,” he handed it off to a ballerina who read, “Harrison Bergeron, age 14, 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.” However, in this short story “Harrison Bergeron”, Kurt Vonnegut uses irony, shift and mood, and allusion to illustrated haw society would be if everyone was under the law of equality.
“Harrison Bergeron,” written by Kurt Vonnegut at the time of the Cold War, is a short story that takes place in a future world of the year 2081 where the Handicapper General and the law force the beautiful to wear masks, the intelligent to wear earpieces that disrupt their thoughts, and the athletic to wear heavy physical restraints, so that everyone may be equal in the categories of beauty, intelligence, and athleticism; a world where the people “[are] equal in every which way.” (Vonnegut 1) What the many readers of “Harrison Bergeron” seem to misinterpret is that the entire story is an allegory to the political systems of Socialism/Communism and that Vonnegut utilizes symbols in the story that either expose the glaring flaws of left-wing politics or advance the supposedly far-superior ideology of American capitalism. In actuality, Vonnegut’s use of symbols in “Harrison Bergeron,” and the entire story itself is a satire of the common American’s ignorant misunderstandings of left-wing politics at the time of the Cold War. Vonnegut once said at a college commencement speech, “I suggest that you work for a socialist form of government … It isn 't moonbeams to talk of modest plenty for all.
The story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut is about a couple, Hazel and George Bergeron, in the distant future when all people must be equal. This equality is reached in the form of handicaps. Weights are placed on the strong and athletic people in society, masks are forced upon the beautiful, and loud noises are constantly blasted into the ears of the intelligent to prevent them from thinking. While most equality is often thought of as good, the story shows a much darker side, using the government’s forceful equalization of the people. “Harrison Bergeron” uses multiple perspectives to highlight the costs of equality paralleled in today’s society.
“Harrison Bergeron” is a unique story, in the sense that it takes place in 2081 in a dystopian society where everyone is equal. No one could be smarter, better-looking, or more athletic than anyone else. They are made equal with mental handicap radios for those who are intelligent, hideous masks for those who are beautiful, and heavy weights for those who are strong. The main character of this story, Harrison Bergeron, has a conflict with the American society in 2081. The internal conflict in Harrison’s mind is that the mental and physical handicaps affect the people’s thoughts.
Equality is a great idea that we should strive for and achieve; however, being made equal physically and mentally by the government could be very unfair. People should still have characteristics that make us different. One can be diverse but still equal to his neighbor. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s use of point of view, conflict, and imagery in his short story “Harrison Bergeron,” illustrates how difficult living in a world where everyone is the same would be.
Single Paragraph Essay “ Harrison Bergeron ” “ Harrison Bergeron ,” written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. focuses on equality — physically andmentally — strongly controlled by the government in the year 2081; the beautiful are forced tolook ugly, the physically skilled are required to wear weights. With these handicaps makingeveryone so equal, the world became very different, odd, and average. But the government hasno right or reason to push the whole world to be “…equal every which way.” (203) To suppress someone’s natural looks or physical talents is not only wrong to natural human rights, but it is also illegal, and for very good reason: everyone is different.
Kurt Vonnegut uses characterization to describe how the characters act in this society. Vonnegut also uses style to show how he uses science fiction and dystopia in “Harrison Bergeron”. The theme demonstrated in “Harrison Bergeron” is equality is not meant to make one person better than another. Kurt Vonnegut in “Harrison Bergeron”, demonstrates that equality based on characteristics is not a good thing for society. Harrison Bergeron is a short story based on the year 2081, where everybody is equal.