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Utopian Society In Harrison Bergeron

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Vonnegut’s portrayal of a utopian society in the short story, “Harrison Bergeron” is exceeds anyone’s expectations of how a utopian society would be. In this universe, everyone is beyond equal. Such as everyone must be as average as their peers, no matter what. With the exception of race, of course. Everyone must look average,sound average, have average intelligence and this is achieved through the use of handicaps. If anyone were to have any unique abilities that surpasses their peers, they are punished with bigger handicaps or are even tortured. Vonnegut was able to portray his own view of a utopian society through his use of diction, imagery, and details. To begin with, the first passage presents the reader with denotative and concrete…show more content…
For example, Vonnegut wrote, “They were equal in every which way / All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General” (Vonnegut 1). Due to the additions in their constitution, they’re forced to live under new conditions and shame the old conditions of being unique. For instance, this is described by George using blunt and cacophonous diction, “‘Then other people’d get away with it-and pretty soon we’d be right back in the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn’t like that would you?’” (Vonnegut 2). Vonnegut’s use of diction is given through George who expresses his concerns about removing his handicaps and implies his dislike for the times where the handicaps weren’t in affect. And without them, he believes that everyone would be constantly competing against one another, however, in actuality everyone won’t be forced to repress their talents and strengths. Furthermore, Vonnegut uses mostly denotative and cacophonous…show more content…
His imagery not only enhances the story itself but it helps the reader visualize the given scenarios as well as give them a chance to see situations in the character’s shoes. For example, “It was such a doozy that George was white and trembling, and tears stood on the rims of his red eyes. Two of the eight ballerinas has collapsed to the studio floor, were holding their temples,” (Vonnegut 2). As Vonnegut has described previously within the story, those with high intelligence were given a mental handicap to prevent those from “taking unfair advantage of their brains,” (Vonnegut 1). The reader is able to visualize the pain George and the dancers suffer from due to the sounds being ruthless, causing the reader to feel a link of empathy for the characters. This makes a strong connection to the overall theme, “The Danger of Total Equality” seeing as how many suffer daily due to the government’s unceasing oppression. The beautiful must wear hideous masks or disfigure themselves, the intelligent must listen to earsplitting noises that impede their ability to think, and the graceful and strong must wear weights around their necks at all hours of the day. To emphasize this fact, George contemplates to himself, “She must have been extraordinary beautiful, because the mask she wore was hideous. And it was easy to see that she was the strongest and most graceful of all the dancers, for her
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