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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The Importance of Absolute Equality in “Harrison Bergeron” For hundreds of years, humanity has struggled to define equality, as well implement the concept properly into society. Slaves; prisoners of war; and even in today’s society, we still see people of color treated as lesser than their Caucasian counterparts. Interestingly enough, color is never introduced as a problem in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s “Harrison Bergeron”. While most people nowadays would agree that the word “equality” refers to equal opportunity, Vonnegut forces this word to the extremes, and warps its meaning into something much more controlling, to the point where it harms society more than inequality ever did.
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?
Vonnegut’s word choice here shows not only the short sentences they form, but also how people are not able to remember how they feel. Instead of having the ability to feel and grow from one's emotion, people literally live in the moment and are not able to remember anything else. Because of this, the government has striped everyone of their personalities, creating the “equal”
In “Harrison Bergeron”, each person was not truly equal. For example, the ballerinas in the story were prettier than the maximum people, so they were required to wear masks. Hazel, the mother of Harrison, believed that the ballerinas were beautiful since her mask was extremely ugly. Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicap General, forces them to be like the public and will punish anyone who says different. Consequently a few people enjoy being the same, it is not easy, and following the Handicap General’s rules is challenging.
Government Control Everyone has felt smarter or maybe not so smart, due to others intelligence once in their lifetime. In a world full of different people this can happen often. However, what if there were a world where everyone was equal? No person was smarter than the other, and everyone had the same level of intelligence. In the movie, Harrison Bergeron, he is a very gifted boy who is against a “government” that makes the entire society equal by handicapping the more gifted, down to the level of the less fortunate or incapable.(Bruce “Harrison”)
In this short story, everything has to do with equality. No one can be more intelligent, stronger, or more attractive. Handicaps are making people unequal. People in this short story isn’t equal because the most intelligent people have to suffer because of the handicaps. “Every twenty minutes or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantages of their brain” (page 2).
Others may think that everyone should be equal, but this is taking it to far. Since everyone has to be absolutely equal in mental and physical strength, no matter who you are, you 'd be equal with the mentally and physically challenged people. As seen in the story there are mentally challenged people and in order for everyone to be equal they would only be able to think as much as them. So
Once a person is introduced into different ways of thinking, they feel that they are restricted to think in other ways. This restriction, is the handicap. The handicap prevents George from thinking too much. From using his ability to think in a different way. In this society, many people appear that they are not open minded.
In the short story, “Harrison Bergeron” Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. relies on the use of irony to indicate where our country will stand once we have gained total equality amongst each other. The theme in “Harrison Bergeron” is that the government cannot enforce equality within the people. The author creates a fictional visualization of the future in the year 2081, where the government controls the people and tortures them in order to maintain “equal opportunity” in their world to prove why it is impossible to achieve absolute equality in the world. Vonnegut dives into a whole other level of uniformity in Harrison Bergeron by focusing on eliminating advantages in appearance, intelligence, strength, and other unique abilities rather than focusing on
Thesis: In Kurt Vonnegut 's story, "Harrison Bergeron," symbolism, tone, and irony reveal the author 's message to the reader which is his perspective on equality. Notably, there are countless symbols in the narrative "Harrison Bergeron" all of which trace back to the theme of the story. The handicaps people are forced to wear are symbols for the control the government has over people. "George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn 't be handicapped.
One common afternoon in the year of 2081, when everyone was equal, Hazel and George Bergeron were in their lovely living room watching television. Suddenly, a news reporter with a severe speech impediment came on. After trying many times to say, “Good morning ladies and gentlemen,” he handed it off to a ballerina who read, “Harrison Bergeron, age 14, 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, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous.” However, in this short story “Harrison Bergeron”, Kurt Vonnegut uses irony, shift and mood, and allusion to illustrated haw society would be if everyone was under the law of equality.
It is just as unfair if not more unfair to put a handicap on someone who has greater strengths than another. When Harrison Bergeron stood up for individuality, society shut him down. In the real world, society shuts down those who speak out for individuality by shaming them or making them outcasts. Kurt Vonnegut created a universe that put the rules of society before the life of an individual. People were willing to stand and watch another human being be killed for accepting their individuality.
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.
Single Paragraph Essay “ Harrison Bergeron ” “ Harrison Bergeron ,” written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. focuses on equality — physically andmentally — strongly controlled by the government in the year 2081; the beautiful are forced tolook ugly, the physically skilled are required to wear weights. With these handicaps makingeveryone so equal, the world became very different, odd, and average. But the government hasno right or reason to push the whole world to be “…equal every which way.” (203) To suppress someone’s natural looks or physical talents is not only wrong to natural human rights, but it is also illegal, and for very good reason: everyone is different.