Democracy In Harrison Bergeron

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“Harrison Bergeron," written by Kurt Vonnegut during the 1960s, portrays vigorous political and social criticisms of America. The political system depicted in Vonnegut's story distinctly enforces the concept that people should be equal in every way. This concept, however, is taken literal. It is the year 2081 and every individual in America is forced by law to be completely equal. No one is allowed to be smarter, good-looking, or physically superior than anyone else. The Handicapper General's agents enforce these laws by forcing citizens to wear "handicaps": hideous masks for those that are considered too good-looking, loud ear implants that disrupt the thoughts of those considered too intelligent, and heavy weights on those considered to be…show more content…
In Vonnegut’s futuristic view of America, equality is a controlled value that the “…agents of the United States Handicapper General” (1) enforces. This story contains extreme exaggeration of characters and the storyline itself to portray a futuristic world in which equality is broadened so much to the point where everyone is impaired. Vonnegut uses a vast amount of satire to highlight the issue that too much of a “good thing” such as equality may lead to bad things such as oppression and an actual loss of freedom. Vonnegut consistently uses the tool of exaggeration to get his point across. One example of his use of exaggeration is his description of the character Harrison Bergeron who is described as “…a genius and an athlete, [who] is under-handicapped, and [someone who] should be regarded as extremely dangerous.” (3). There will always be resistance against anything forced upon it’s citizens in any world. Harrison Bergeron is an example of this. With resistance to rules, there will always be someone to impose those rules such as “…the Handicapper General, a women named Diana Glampers.”
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