Examples Of Individualism In Harrison Bergeron

1378 Words6 Pages

Kwesi’ Hall
College Literature
Mrs. Moehlman

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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