Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron

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Title In the short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, everyone is finally equal in every which way. No one person is stronger, more beautiful, smarter, taller, or is just overall better than someone else.This is all thanks to the current government, who did this using weights, ugly masks, and ear pieces that let loose noises to interrupt a person’s thoughts. One man, named Harrison Bergeron, was recently arrested only to break out a few weeks later. Harrison rushed towards a studio that was, unknowingly to him, recording a ballerina performance. He ran in, interrupting the performance, and ripped off his handicaps and began proclaiming himself as emperor. One of the ballerinas stood up and Harrison removed her handicaps. They…show more content…
Instead of allowing people to realize their potential, the government forces them to sit back and meet an average or minimal expectation. If someone is smarter than the average person, the government constantly interrupts their thought process instead of allowing them to think straight and possibly help society. If someone and more beautiful than the average person, the government forces them to wear an ugly mask to hide their features. If someone is stronger than the average person, the government makes them wear extreme amounts of weights, or at least enough to bring them down to the average. The second piece of evidence the story provides is the fact that it says nothing about the Handicapper General or any of her agents wearing handicaps. The government's idea of freedom appears to be a form of a dictatorship. The government forces the civilians to wear ability limiting handicaps while they themselves wear none. They seem to rule with what appears to be an iron fist, punishing those that break the rules and letting themselves roam free. It’s extremely unfair, yet it allows them to maintain peace among civilians in the area. They are still technically achieving their…show more content…
Upon shredding his handicaps and removing the girl’s handicaps, he was killed by the Handicapper General. She could have just put stronger handicaps on Harrison and the ballerina after capturing them, but she decided to kill them instead. It may the faster and more permanent solution, but it’s what happened after that that clears up the claim. On a T.V. in the Bergeron family house, while Harrison’s mother and father were watching the channel on which Harrison was killed, the television tube burnt out about 10 seconds after Harrison was killed and Mrs. Bergeron/Hazel, automatically forgot what she saw and was unable to inform her husband, George, of what happened. So this could show that the government is also able to influence the minds of the citizens and make them believe and remember what the government wants them to believe and remember.
What the evidence is trying to show is that the government is willing to kill off, inflict pain upon, and especially limit the potential of the civilians that live under them in order to maintain equality. The government rules with an iron fist and no one denies them without facing the consequences. Kurt killed Harrison off to display this to the reader. To show how ruthless the government can be when they want to hold on to something that could better man-kind, even though it hinders
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