Human Diversity In Harrison Bergeron

Good Essays
The Dystopian short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. tells of a world where everybody is made to be excruciatingly average. In an attempt to push equality to its furthest limits the United States government released a series of laws that forced anybody who was above average in any area, whether that be intelligence, beauty, strength, or any skill to be handicapped to turn them into another average person. This causes performers to have to wear masks and to bear weights so that they aren't better than anybody else, reporters have speech impediments, and due to the mass-hysteria against competition, anyone who tries to go against this system is harshly punished. This lack of human diversity causes a stagnation of progress, as well…show more content…
This is first shown when Hazel states she believes she would make a good Handicapper General, George responds to her by saying she’d be “Good as anybody else,” due to the fact that nobody can be better than anybody at anything. This is especially prejudicial against politicians because they will not be able to have progressive ideas. If everyone who runs for office must wear handicaps that forces them to be the same as everybody else in the nation it forces a state of stagnation of ideas for the country. Another example of the culmination of positive change is presented during a conversation between Hazel and George. George compares competition to the dark ages by saying “If I tried to get away with it, then other people'd get away with it—and pretty soon we’d be right back to the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn’t like that, would you?” Hazel responds negatively. This revulsion against competition may be the driving force of the everlasting dormancy in this society. Competition has always been what drives people to improve on themselves, and in turn improve the life of others. Eliminating competition isn't making everybody equal, it is force-feeding false equality at the cost of
Get Access