Total Equality In Harrison Bergeron

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Literature is commonly used as a tool by authors to portray their opinion or perspective on certain topics. Kurt Vonnegut and his narrative “Harrison Bergeron” is the epitome of this notion, where he crafts the dystopian condition of total equality. Although such a short reading, the impact of short story “Harrison Bergeron” undoubtedly sparks inquiry among readers. Vonnegut’s selection of details, imagery, and use of language and syntax expresses his true writing style as well as his perspective on total equality. Vonnegut opens “Harrison Bergeron” with details of his vision of the United States under total equality. In the narrative, the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendment was enacted— a set of rules that established full equality— all under…show more content…
Interrupting a dance performance after fleeing from prison, he sets himself “in the center of the studio” (4) and frees himself of the bulky handicaps attached to him. Revealing his true self, he shows the audience the full potential of one can be, inspiring the miserable state of everyone else on or surrounding the podium. Consequently, even the musicians felt urged to remove their handicaps, playing music exponentially better. Because of the threat that Harrison posed, he was shot and killed by the Handicapper General. She then proceeded to point her gun “at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on” (5). In history, often we see radical, political leaders who take a tame idea, but execute it in a much more extreme way. Diana Glampers closely resembles the above description. This is a prime example of what may happen if we were to follow through the dystopian idea of total…show more content…
Because of the 211th to 213th Amendments, equality was set to the lowest bar. Those with actual disabilities had to compete with average people, therefore those who were handicapped from birth became the norm. Hazel could only think “in short bursts” (1). George had an average intelligence, however in this age, it was considered “way above normal, [and he] had a little mental handicap radio in his ear” (1). In just the first page, total equality seems, well, scary. Vonnegut describes the severity that the handicaps can go, “the rest of Harrison’s appearance was Halloween and hardware. Nobody had ever born heavier handicaps… but to give him whanging headaches besides” (2). Harrison was attractive, tall, intelligent, athletic— but everything that he had no control of had to be taken away. Such vivid descriptions reveals Vonnegut’s purpose of trying to convince the reader that they must reevaluate what they truly want for the future and well-being of
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