Superhero In Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron

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Superhero is defined as, “a benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers, such as Superman”. With the exception of fictional characters, there is no one in our society with superhuman powers. In everyday life when humans think of a superhero, the immediate thought that comes to mind are these made up abilities. Despite this cliche image seen in movies or read in comics, superheroes in this world usually do not have those superhuman abilities. Versions of a superhero in reality is an individual who strives to be exceptional and lead others into being the best person possible. Throughout the two dystopian stories, there are significant changes in how the short stories are told and directed, causing one of the protagonists to be presented as more of the “bad guy”. However, the overall theme and most of the characterization is perceived the same. In “Harrison Bergeron”, everything is given in a humorous manner. From the characterization, to comical descriptions, to the things the characters say, nothing that Kurt Vonnegut wrote in this story can be taken seriously. By Vonnegut presenting his story in this manner, it almost creates Harrison to look more like a supervillain than a superhero, like intended. However, in 2081, the moment Chandler Tuttle had Harrison escape from prison and barge into the auditorium, the tone switched and became extremely heroic and inspirational, creating his very own version of what today’s society would consider a superhero.
The speech

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