Kurt Vonnegut's insightful short story "Harrison Bergeron" was published in 1961. The narrative is set in a dystopian world in which everyone is treated equally in terms of intelligence, physical prowess, and aesthetic appeal. Harrison Bergeron, the primary character, is a representation of individualism and freedom in this society. This essay will look at the value of uniqueness and how it is portrayed in the narrative. The concept of a dystopian society in which the government attempts to control every aspect of its citizens’ lives is not a new one, but the way in which Vonnegut presents it in “Harrison Bergeron” is unique. The use of handicaps to ensure equality is a particularly …show more content…
The government enforces this equality through the use of handicaps. For example, Harrison’s extraordinary intelligence is dulled through the use of ear implants that emit loud noises to disrupt his thoughts. The handicaps serve as a powerful metaphor for the ways in which society often seeks to suppress individuality. We are all encouraged to conform to certain societal norms and expectations, and those who deviate from those norms are often ostracized or punished. In many cases, people are forced to wear “handicaps” in the form of societal expectations, which can limit their ability to express their true selves. Similarly, his strength is restricted by weights that he must wear around his neck, and his good looks are masked by a mask that he must wear over his face. These handicaps ensure that everyone is equal, but they also strip individuals of their unique qualities and talents. An example of irony is the idea that the government's attempts to create equality result in the opposite effect. By imposing handicaps on the most intelligent, strongest, and beautiful individuals, the government seeks to create a society where everyone is equal. However, the result is that society becomes even more unequal as individuals lose their unique talents and qualities, leaving only mediocrity. Thus, the government's attempts to create equality ultimately result in …show more content…
He is tall, handsome, and intelligent. He refuses to accept the government’s laws and breaks free from his handicaps. He declares himself emperor and dances with a ballerina, who also has unique talents that have been suppressed. The government eventually kills Harrison, but not before he has made a powerful statement about the importance of individuality. Harrison Bergeron is a character who represents the importance of individuality and the dangers of conformity. He refuses to accept the government’s laws and breaks free from his handicaps, declaring himself emperor and dancing with a ballerina who also has unique talents that have been suppressed. In doing so, he is asserting his individuality and rejecting the notion that everyone must be the same. For Irony "Harrison Bergeron" is the portrayal of Harrison as both a hero and a villain. Harrison is portrayed as a hero for his resistance to the oppressive government, his determination to express his individuality, and his willingness to fight for what he believes in. However, his actions are also portrayed as reckless and dangerous, as he causes chaos and puts others in harm's way. Thus, Harrison's actions are both heroic and villainous, creating a sense of irony in the
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This is a guy who is all the things that would make a man perfect in our society today but in the book this man is feared for being handsome and smart and every other thing that he is as if he is some type of disease. But you could say that the government had something to fear once Harrison was sick and tired of having all these handicaps .Could you blame him though?On page 4 of the short story harrison starts to rip off the handicaps as if they are just pieces of paper breaking free and allowing himself to be the best that he can be. But of course the government doesn't want him doing that on live television for everyone to see.
Harrison’s strength conflicts with society because the government does not want Harrison to be a threat in overtaking them and wants him to be identically as strong as anyone else. All and all, Harrison completely contradicts his society by encompassing rebelliousness and strength which does not
In the story “Harrison Bergeron,” citizens are kept away from their individuality by the government. The government limits their abilities by enforcing handicaps on them and always keeping an eye on them. People are stripped of what identifies them, causing them to be the same as everyone else. Examples of society versus individuals in the story “Harrison Bergeron” are the citizens and Harrison against the government. The government restricts individuals that possess “advantages,” so people want to be recognized for themselves.
1. In ‘Harrison Bergeron’, certain people are ‘handicapped’, they have to carry around heavy weights and have loud noises blasted into their ears. Why do you think the government does this? The reason as to why to government does this is because they want to provide equality amongst the people in which the handicapped people should also be treated equal as even though they are different from other people that are normal—they are still considered to be humans and that’s why they should be treated equal.
This essay mainly examines on equality, physically and mentally, controlled severely by the government in the year 2081. Equality: Despite the "handicaps" used to equalize society, Hazel disproves the idea that these handicaps create equality through her knowledge and observations of other people who are also handicaps. The beautiful must disguise themselves by wearing hideous masks or disfigure themselves to spoil their attractiveness, the intelligent must listen to earsplitting noises that crush their ability to think, and the graceful and strong must wear weights around their necks at all hours of the day. What is considered "normal"? As quoted in the story:“I think I’d make a good Handicapper General.”
Harrison Bergeron teaches the readers many different lessons through the many themes that occur in the story. Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. represents how equality can be dangerous if it is applied to human qualities like intelligence or beauty. One example of Harrison Bergeron showing that equality is dangerous is, “Harrison smashed his headphones and spectacles against the wall.” This is an example of equality being dangerous because Harrison became very scary once he got all of his handicaps off and it was all because he was being deprived of his true intelligence and beauty. A second example is, “Harrison’s scrap-iron handicaps crashed to the floor.”
Throughout “Harrison Bergeron”, Vonnegut describes handicaps that the government has forced people to wear to achieve ultimate equality throughout the society. This forced equality promotes violence because someone has to make sure the people are wearing their handicaps. If anyone goes against the government, they will get killed, just as Harrison did. For example, Vonnegut writes: “George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times.
Equality is a topic that is frequently discussed, argued, and even protested in today’s society. In his short story, “Harrison Bergeron,” author Kurt Vonnegut explores the theme of equality in a dystopian future society. The story begins in the year 2081, where everyone is forced to be equal through various means of control and manipulation. People who are too smart or too attractive are forced to wear handicaps that level the playing field. The protagonist, Harrison Bergeron, is a young man who is highly talented, fit, and good-looking.
Furthermore, the character of Harrison Bergeron himself is a symbol of rebellion against society’s ideology of equality, as he is described as a person with extraordinary physical attributes, strength, and intelligence. Viewers of the story can identify this as said in the quote, “Harrison Bergeron, age fourteen, has just escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. He is a genius and an athlete, is under-handicapped” (3). His physical attributes, strength, and intelligence make him a symbol of rebellion against an
It's important, with no equality no one wins, everyone ties. Equality will get society nowhere. No one wins the prize and gets the fame with a straight tie. In their current dystopia they have “equality”, they make everyone who is above average wear the handicaps. But that’s not fair, it’s equal
in Harrison Bergeron they solve the problem of inequality by giving people handicaps. These would restrict people who were prettier, smarter, or stronger than average. They censored their knowledge and their thoughts specifically with a brain handicap that was "tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep [smart] people…from taking unfair advantage of their brains." (Vonnegut 1)
Harrison Bergeron Essay Claim: Being equal isn’t always fair. Intro: What if someone had to wear a handicap? Or what if someone had to be treated exactly like everyone else?
Even though society under the Handicapper General is meant to be fully equal, the handicaps that are issued only serve to highlight the differences between the citizens. The handicaps are visual spectacles that are meant to hide peoples’ strengths, but instead they show exactly where some people are better than others, and by how much. For example, George is in possession of an ear radio that is supposed to make him of equal intelligence to his wife. The fact that he is smarter than her is shown through his handicap, much like how it is easy to tell that “two of the eight ballerinas” are smarter than the other six because they winced when their ear radios went off (8). Similarly, the reader is made aware of how much stronger George is than Hazel through how she remains unburdened while he has to wear “forty-seven pounds of birdshot, which was padlocked around [his] neck” (9).
The story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut is about a couple, Hazel and George Bergeron, in the distant future when all people must be equal. This equality is reached in the form of handicaps. Weights are placed on the strong and athletic people in society, masks are forced upon the beautiful, and loud noises are constantly blasted into the ears of the intelligent to prevent them from thinking. While most equality is often thought of as good, the story shows a much darker side, using the government’s forceful equalization of the people. “Harrison Bergeron” uses multiple perspectives to highlight the costs of equality paralleled in today’s society.
The character Harrison, in the story “Harrison Bergeron” written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, has many traits that help aide the theme of the story. Harrison was a strong, good looking, determined young individual with a goal to be different than everyone else. To begin with, Harrison is a good looking 14 year old that is 7ft tall with big goals in life. Harrison is one that was made handicapped by the Handicapper General because he is better than the others.