Equality In Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron

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Equality is a complex issue because it depends on the standards of the person defining it. It should mean that everyone has the same opportunity as everyone else, but that is not true. Equality is defined as the quality or state of having the same rights, social status, etc.” (Merriam-Webster). In Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”, the government set standards for being equal at the expense of the individuality and freedom of the citizens. Today the issues with equality is that of race, gender, religion, and disability. Vonnegut defies that in “Harrison Bergeron” and makes equality about beauty, intellect, and strength. Vonnegut displays in “Harrison Bergeron” what true equality would do to a society if the Declaration of Independence phrase …show more content…

No one was smarter, better looking, or stronger than one another. The government accomplished this by applying handicaps to those who were not “average”. If someone had a higher intelligence than the average person they had to wear a mental handicap, by law, that would cause loud sharp noises. Mental handicaps would block someone of a high intelligence from “outthinking” others in society. If a civilian was more beautiful than the average looking Joe, then it was required by law for them to wear masks. If they were stronger than it was required to wear a bag of birdshots to weigh them down. If the people did not wear the handicaps that were given to them, then they would have to serve jail time and have a fine to pay, maybe even killed, as if they were true criminals. The handicaps caused the above average to downgrade to be equal to those whom are “average”. The government has such a hold on these people and the government themselves were not restricted by these awful handicaps. No civilian noticed that the government was not restricted and the “average” people were brainwashed into thinking that the way they were treated was normal. When Harrison Bergeron stood up to be freed from the laws that the government set, they shot him down the first time they had a chance. They could not hold him down with any handicap that was made for him and they had exhausted everything that they had so killing him was their only

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