Dialogue In Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron

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The same story, whether fictional or not can be told and retold in a multitude of ways. One such story is the short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., and its film adaptation “2081”. Though the general plotline, the characters and most of the dialogue prevails through the changes the adaptation makes, The perspective on the events that transpire and the symbolic value of certain characters is completely different. The vastly different tones between the short film and short story can be seen clearly during and after the title character’s last moments, as he dances with his partner in front of a terrified and captivated audience. The effect (or lack thereof) of his actions and what he as a character means to the world are drastically…show more content…
After he is brutally shot on live TV, the reactions of his audience varies to show what each creator thought the effects of his actions should be. In the short story, it seems that after his sudden death the antagonist quickly regains control over the world and life returns to it’s monotonous routine. Harrison’s father George tells his mother to “‘forget sad things’” (Pg 6, “Harrison Bergeron”), and suddenly their dialogue returns to the same style and content as the beginning of the story, as though nothing has changed. The author write’s the slightly insane, impossible action’s of Harrison only to contrast with the drab, restricting lifestyle in the setting. The filmakers, meanwhile, decided to portray his actions as revolutionary. The antagonist clearly views Harrison as a threat, as she storms the dance studio with a small army of men all bearing heavy weaponry. Harrison’s mother, who is show to be humming music from the original dance program at the beginning subconsiously hums to Harrison’s changed tune instead, showing that his message has had a lasting impact on the population. This drastically changes how the ending of the story feels; the short story gives off a sense of foreboding while the film takes a more inspirational…show more content…
“2081” tells an inspiring story of change and rebellion against oppression, lead on by the embodiment of hope and the human spirit while “Harrison Bergeron” serves as a reminder of the dangers of restricting potential in the name of protection. Both Vonnegut and Tuttle tell the same story, but the tone of the ending is altered by changing seemingly insignificant details to influence the way the audience percieves the events of the story. Audiences of both can easily agree that the emotions inspired by the two different works are very different. Although the integrity of the plot and the dialogue is almost comepletely untouched, the message and theme are undoubtedly the works of two different people, proving that there are truely two ways to tell the same
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