Equality Vs Sameness

880 Words4 Pages
Americans are deeply rooted in the concept of equality, yet Americans regularly confuse the definition of equality with sameness. In the entirety of American history, no one has established a concrete definition for equality. The fluidity of equality’s definition leads Americans to misinterpret equality and construe the ideals of American justice. In order to understand justice, Americans have to be able to distinguish the fundamental differences between the definitions of equality and sameness. Distinguishing equality from sameness is important for understanding and clarity. In “Everything That Rises Must Converge” by Flannery O’Conner, O’Conner uses irony to show subtle differences between sameness and equality. In her short story, she…show more content…
She understands the importance of the document and skillfully plays on the reader’s connection to the document. The Declaration of Independence was the most relevant source on declaring equality and establishing justice. By replicating the Declaration of Independence, she establishes that women were fighting for equality not sameness. In her writing, she discusses women’s lack of rights to education, property, careers, and voting compared to men’s rights: “He has created a false public sentiment by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society…” (Stanton, 2007, p. 59). Stanton finds that Americans have to understand the difference between equality and sameness, in order to properly understand justice. Stanton explicitly decided to fight and demand equality for women. Distinguishing equality from sameness must be purposeful in order to be…show more content…
In “Harrison Bergeron,” Kurt Vonnegut writes about a dystopian society where the government forces equality through sameness. Vonnegut writes, “The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal in every which way” (Vonnegut, 1968, p. 7). The equality Vonnegut portrays in “Harrison Bergeron” embodies the definition of sameness. The fictional society forces handicaps upon individuals limiting them to the same intelligence, beauty, and athletic standards. The officials “Harrison Bergeron” forced handicaps such as weights, interrupting radios, and ugly masks to reinforce sameness. Imposing handicaps upon individuals is tyrannical and unjust, thus contradicting the original goal of equality, which is justice. Confusing equality and sameness deprives individuals of genuine equality, which encompasses and embraces individuality. For example, in 2002 the government enforced a law entitled No Child Left Behind. This law allowed teachers to deviate from differentiated instruction and place value in standardized education. The government had good intentions with the act, but categorized all students onto the same level. American citizens that constantly confuse equality with sameness lack the comprehension to understand justice properly. Misguided reform as seen in “Harrison Bergeron” can be ceased by not confusing equality with
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