The Inequalities Of Mass Equality In Harrison Bergeron
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Payne Vogtman Mrs. Busick English 9 Honors 11 September 2015 1
The Inequalities of Mass Equality Why does everyone want to be equal? Humans in general yearn to be equal to their neighbor; this is a basic instinctual feeling. However, the majority of society never considers the reality of a world in which everyone is completely and entirely equal. Society at the time influenced Kurt Vonnegut to think about the most functional society possible. The characters in his “Harrison Bergeron” are all symbols for people or groups of people that can be identified around the 1960s. In “Harrison Bergeron”, Vonnegut addresses these views through the creation of a world in which all people are equal, but through symbolism and characterization, he shows its true nature: a dystopian society in which some are still more powerful than others.
McCarthy, a powerful senator throughout the 1950s, was a strong believer in democracy. His belief was so strong, in fact, that he used his influence to lampoon and try hundreds of government officials that were suspected Communists. Many people in the United States were horrified at his methods. They believed that people deserved a right to their own views, and deserved to share those views with others, whether or not they chose to listen. The most significant theme in Harrison Bergeron is that of encouragement of individuals’ natural differences. Vonnegut introduces this idea, “[He] tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren’t really