What Is The Cost Of Equality In Harrison Bergeron

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The story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut is about a couple, Hazel and George Bergeron, in the distant future when all people must be equal. This equality is reached in the form of handicaps. Weights are placed on the strong and athletic people in society, masks are forced upon the beautiful, and loud noises are constantly blasted into the ears of the intelligent to prevent them from thinking. While most equality is often thought of as good, the story shows a much darker side, using the government’s forceful equalization of the people. “Harrison Bergeron” uses multiple perspectives to highlight the costs of equality paralleled in today’s society. Contrasts between the reader’s perspective and the character’s perspective about inequality show cost of equality in ”Harrison Bergeron.” In the future United States shown in the story, equality is valued above all else, and the society has taught citizens that being better or worse than another is something bad. When Hazel says to her handicapped husband, “Go on and rest the bag for a little while," … "I don't care if you're not equal to me for a while." ( Vonnegut Jr 51) it makes the differing perspectives between the reader and the characters immediately …show more content…

“Harrison Bergeron” shows total equality in an extreme way that catches attention, to show there are consequences to this often sought after way of life. The author uses the extreme ways the government forces equality to demonstrate how equality actually degrades society as a whole. The story showed how forced equality can make people have unrealistic and absurd world views, and how important jobs in society are left to people who are incompetent and unfit for the job. All of these consequences are easily paralleled in society today, and, unless people recognize the danger, could quickly become a serious

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