Theme Of Harrison Bergeron

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Is There A Destructive Side to Equality? When the topic of equality comes up in society, people often think of the human rights activists that fight to improve the lives of various minorities around the world, but can activists take it to dangerous extremes? In the short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., George and Hazel Bergeron live in a dystopian United States where everyone has handicaps, mental and physical, to enforce equality. While watching ballerinas on TV their son, who was taken away from them, Harrison Bergeron, took over the show and tore off his handicaps. He made himself and one of the ballerinas the emperor and empress, and without handicaps, they danced gracefully, showing everyone the significance of dance (Vonnegut …show more content…

The theme expresses the detrimental side of equality by showing how total equality dulls life, hinders national advancement, and eliminates freedom. The theme of “Harrison Bergeron” conveys how total equality deprives society of creative expression by forcing everyone to stoop down to the same level. In “Harrison Bergeron”, the ballerinas were monotonous to watch because as George stated, “They weren’t really very good-no better than anybody else would have been, anyway,” (Vonnegut 232). It was not until Harrison took over the show did the dancing radiate elegance and beauty and become a show worth watching (Vonnegut 235). People love watching shows that exhibit performers that can do things the viewers know they would not be able to do. Creative …show more content…

People might assume the rules and laws keep them safe, but that is not the case in “Harrison Bergeron”. This theme shows through George and Hazel as they converse about the idea of removing the weighted lead balls that burden them. George explains that the penalty is “Two years in prison and two thousand dollars fine for every ball [he] took out,” (Vonnegut 233). Enforcing equality has become more important than the welfare of the American citizens in this story. In real life, people proceed with this theme of absolute equality in a similar fashion, to a lesser degree. For example, diversity has become a mandatory requirement, regardless of circumstances. Diversity is a beautiful thing, but it should not be more important than the quality of the individual. For instance, in a business situation, the manager’s freedom is limited in order to avoid accusations of racism. The manager should have the freedom to choose the finest worker for their company, disregarding skin color. In both George's and the hypothetical manager’s situation, equality is being forced upon them and restricting their

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