Hyperbole In Harrison Bergeron

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In the short story “Harrison Bergeron”, Vonnegut uses hyperbole to exaggerate this idea of equality, or a perfect society. Equality is the state of being equal in status, rights, and opportunities. The short story attempts to make all people equal by handicapping their special abilities. For example, if someone thinks more deeply than others they will stick a radio in their head so when their mind starts to wander, a loud noise will sound so they lose their train of thought. Is this idea of equality really achievable? If so, will it take extreme measures such as radios in the brain for people to finally feel content in life? The story begins with the two main characters, George and Hazel, watching television, when a loud buzzer sounds in George’s head. Not only does he have the radio in his head, he also has forty-seven pounds of birdshot in a canvas bag padlocked around his neck. There is a ballerina on the television who has giant bags and a mask on, Hazel comments on her as she speaks saying that “she must have been extraordinarily …show more content…

He was locked up like an animal for being too unlike all the others. He was taller, and smarter, basically just an outcast. This short story can be seen as a “what not to do” when it comes to trying to make things equal. Vonnegut may be trying to warn people that trying to achieve a perfect society is seemingly impossible. Brainwashing a society or making them believe that handicaps were a part of them or necessary for them to live is not the way to achieve this. Hazel knew that these people had the handicaps because they were better than her, at some point would that affect her feelings? George has these mental handicaps preventing him from being himself, it even mentions in the story that the loud noises and heavy sack take a toll on him. This isn’t an equal society and it makes you question whether a perfect society is ever even possible, and if it were possible would it be what anyone

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