Equality In Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron

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Throughout history America has seen its share of movements to bring forth equality. From the women’s suffrage movement, the civil rights movements of the 1960s, and finally and most prominently in current American news, gay rights equality. However, equality has arrived in the short story “Harrison Bergeron” in an egalitarian society. At what cost though? Where people are limited by the government; devices created to “handicap” society’s potential so that they are equal in the year 2081. No one is smarter, prettier, stronger, they are only average, and “equal before God and the law, they were equal every which way” (Gioia 232). Which severely handicaps its constituents to the point of just being average at the cost of individualism. Throughout…show more content…
Our media and TV shove others agenda’s down your throat and it’s infused or snuck into a show, just to make it more and more commonplace until you don’t notice it anymore because it’s become common. “All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General” (Gioia 232). Yet today we still see color, and judge race by negative examples of other people of the same race from the past. Is this where we as Americans are headed? As our leaders look for new path to equality with socialist ideals to make everyone equal and include more government control? “On a symbolic level, Vonnegut, depicts the enforcer of constitutional equality as the “United States Handicapper General,” and the word, handicap, provides the reader with a powerful literary metaphor which is expressed through the characters in the story. In other words, he is implying with the phrase “Handicapper General” that the concept of social equality has become so extreme and convoluted that people in this dystopian world are forced to be “handicapped” if they have special physical and intellectual attributes or advantageous genetic traits”
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