A major theme in Harrison Bergeron would be, equality doesn’t always mean better. Before you read something like this you think that if everyone was equal that the world would be a better place to live, but as Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. showed us in his writing that equality isn’t all cut out as it says it is. You can see this on page one, “every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains”. Think about that for one second, if no one was smarter than anybody else would be horrible. Scientific advances wouldn’t happen and people would be boring. Then where does the standard of equal start. As you can tell that Hazel
“Harrison Bergeron,” written by Kurt Vonnegut at the time of the Cold War, is a short story that takes place in a future world of the year 2081 where the Handicapper General and the law force the beautiful to wear masks, the intelligent to wear earpieces that disrupt their thoughts, and the athletic to wear heavy physical restraints, so that everyone may be equal in the categories of beauty, intelligence, and athleticism; a world where the people “[are] equal in every which way.” (Vonnegut 1) What the many readers of “Harrison Bergeron” seem to misinterpret is that the entire story is an allegory to the political systems of Socialism/Communism and that Vonnegut utilizes symbols in the story that either expose the glaring flaws of left-wing politics or advance the supposedly far-superior ideology of American capitalism. In actuality, Vonnegut’s use of symbols in “Harrison Bergeron,” and the entire story itself is a satire of the common American’s ignorant misunderstandings of left-wing politics at the time of the Cold War. Vonnegut once said at a college commencement speech, “I suggest that you work for a socialist form of government … It isn 't moonbeams to talk of modest plenty for all. They have it in Sweden.” (Hattenhauer 387) Given this and many more instances where Vonnegut’s spoken word was documented in support of left-wing politics, this interpretation of Vonnegut’s intent behind the story is much more convincing.
In George Saunders’ essay from The Guardian, he states, “We often think that the empathetic function in fiction is accomplished via the writer’s relation to his characters, but it’s also accomplished via the writer’s relation to his reader” (The Guardian). In Kurt Vonnegut’s story “Harrison Bergeron”, we can see this idea shown through the reader’s connection with Harrison. Vonnegut uses the main character of the story, Harrison Bergeron, as a symbol of empathy by allowing the reader to relate to his desire for individuality.
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 Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, “Harrison Bergeron”, he explores this equality idea in a in 2081 setting where every man, woman, and child are on the same level of intelligence. Although in Kurt Vonnegut’s story the government is appearing to want equality, in all reality they really just want power and control.
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.
Harrison Bergeron was a book written in 1961 that portrayed an abnormal child defying the dystopian government; in 2009 a movie was made, based off of it called 2081 that changed the character both physically and morally. The differences in how Harrison Bergeron, the main character, appears in each story changes how the audience perceives his morality. These changes are easily highlighted in Harrison’s age, dialogue, and appearance. The tone of the story is also changed, resulting in similar changes to what the audience interprets. As both stories continue these differences become more and more apparent and by the end, there is a clear split in what the audience ‘takes away’. Overall, Harrison Bergeron and 2081 are both centered around the same characters
“Harrison Bergeron“ by Kurt Vonnegut and the movie 2081 is directed by Chandler Tuttle. The theme of this story is that no one should be forced to be equal, since everyone is their own special person. The story describes George and Hazel Bergeron who both have different living perspectives. In the life of 2081 everyone is expected to be equal, because of this way of living George’s intelligence makes him differ from everyone else which is weighed down by earpieces that vibrate a sound. This earpiece transmitter distracts George from any thoughts that make him learn more or feel smarter. This becomes different when it comes to Hazel shes average intelligence for your normal year of 2081. Since Hazel is normal intelligence, she isnt in need
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.
“Harrison Bergeron” is a unique story, in the sense that it takes place in 2081 in a dystopian society where everyone is equal. No one could be smarter, better-looking, or more athletic than anyone else. They are made equal with mental handicap radios for those who are intelligent, hideous masks for those who are beautiful, and heavy weights for those who are strong.
Admit it, one time you were bored or sat down with nothing to do and couldn’t help but imagine how life would be if everyone was equal, don’t even try denying it, you’ve thought of that at least once in your life, but as any good writer would do, they’d write their thoughts down and turn it into a story, that’s exactly what Kurt Vonnegut did.
The story, Harrison Bergeron really shows the importance of diversity and for every individual to have a right to be unique. The government trying to make every thing completely fair is actually unfair to people who can 't get any excitement in a world like this. Limiting peoples thinking will also strongly slow any advances in technology, maybe even to a stop, so they might never solve some of the very important problems they face. Same with strength, if someones is in danger to an animal or a malfunctioning machine they will need to be able to escape. So really a world thats completely fair is impossible to create.
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.
“Harrison Bergeron” is a short fiction written by Kurt Vonnegut, the story is set in the year 2081, and it talks about a futuristic society where all people are equal. No one is smarter, beautiful or stronger than the other, and if someone happens to be better than the others they find themselves compelled by The United States Handicapper General to wear what they call “handicaps” in order to bring down their abilities to the most basic levels as the others. Throughout the story, Vonnegut expresses a strong and vigorous political and social criticism of some historical events in the US during 1960s such as the Cold War and Communism, television and American Culture and Civil Rights Movement.
In today’s society the general attitude towards an individual is conform or be an outcast. It is seen in schools where people who do not fit into specific cliques become outcasts, the weird people. It is seen in the work place as well. People have conformed to standards set by society simply because society has said to do so. Society asks people to change themselves to fit in. However, people do not have to conform to the standards set by society.
How can the government make society equal? In the story, “Harrison Bergeron,” the main character faces a conflict against the government. The government wanted the same thing but Harrison wants to change that by overthrowing how society overlooks beauty. When the author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. wrote this story he was in the time of war which was in the late 1940’s. Most stories he writes involves life events he was in. Kurt was writing based on the government and war (33).