Theme Of Inequality In Kurt Vonnegut's Lesson

Good Essays
In “HARRISON BERGERON” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., a society is introduced in which everything is ‘equal’. Everyone has the same intelligence, strength, speed, and is similar to one another in every sense. However, in order for this equality, those who are above average must be handicapped until they have no advantage over their peers. Along with this, George is forced to deal with constant pain, whether it’s gunfire or ball peen hammers in his head. This shows how complete equality is impossible, and the pursuit of it only causes inequality. Some people would argue that the pain these citizens suffer is worth the price of equality, but they would be incorrect. From the start, it was apparent that not everyone was truly equal. Early on, George, a man of great intelligence, was introduced. With this also came the introduction of the sound handicap, as the text states, “And George, while his intelligence… taking unfair advantage of their brains.” This illustrates the inequality that is forced onto citizens so everyone can be identical. Your mind is your most important feature; it’s what separates you from…show more content…
The text explains, “But he didn’t get… out of the eight ballerinas” and “He began to think glimmeringly… George was white and trembling”. Besides from the loss of their individuality, intelligent people must also live in near constant pain for a gift of theirs they can’t control. If these people were born dull minded, they would be spared from the sounds of shotguns, crashing objects, and alarms; they’d be spared from the punishment of the government. Yet, they now have to be consumed by the torment of these noises, and George is made white and trembling simply for thinking about his incarcerated son, who also deals with this pain every day of his life. Equality is not worth the price of agony, especially when to be equal, you must also be less
Get Access