4, October, 2011
Were the struggles for individuality that Equality and Harrison had to face, as difficult as they thought it was? In the novella Anthem and the short story “Harrison Bergeron,” Rand and Vonnegut use the theme of individualism vs. collectivism to show the oppression of each society, the fear used to control its citizens and the characters that rebel.
In both stories, oppression is used to make everyone equal. The government in Anthem takes away its citizens’ individuality to make a part of the group. In both stories, oppression is used to make everyone equal. “For the word ‘We’ must never be spoken, save by one’s choice and as a second thought” This shows that the word “We” was no longer used to describe people. They were their own person. “We” was determined as “I”, the word “we” took away their individuality. To take away their individuality, they assigned people jobs, like street sweeper or doctor, gave them no choices, because they did not let them choose their names or jobs, and put them into groups so they would not be alone. George is athletic, so he wears weights on him that slow him down, also being extremely intelligent, George wears an ear radio that goes off every 20 seconds, and the ballerinas wear masks in the story because they are beautiful. “Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was or quicker than anybody else.” Nobody was better than anyone else. Everyone was equal. They used handicaps to make everyone the same. The Handicapper General, Diana Moon Glampers, assigns the characters handicaps to make everyone equal in the short story “Harrison Bergeron”. Harrison fought for his and everyone else’s individuality. Fear was used to control the characters in both societies. The Uncharted Forrest and The Transgressor were used to scare the society in Anthem. The Transgressor was used as an example for all people who thought they could be an individual....