Harris Bergeron & by the Waters of Babylon

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Angeles Rubio
Ms. Helen
English 10
September 11, 2013
Knowledge In Society
In the stories Harrison Bergeron and By the Waters of Babylon both present a similar plot about society in the future. Both main characters, John and Harrison, question the beliefs and knowledge in their society. For example, Harrison does not agree with the system of everyone being equal; and John’s journey to the Place of Gods lets him gain the knowledge and truth about these places and people to help the people in his society understand.

In the story, Harrison Bergeron, one learns that the author, Kurt Vonnegut, does not like the way society is. He does not like how people judge one another because one is not as attractive, or smarter, or funnier. He portrays this idea into the story by creating a society full of people that are equal. For example, in the beginning one gets to know that George is actually really intelligent as was all Hazel, but not as much as George. George cannot be smarter than Hazel or anyone, so to control the way he thinks he has to wear a mental handicap that receives different sounds to scatter his thoughts (Vonnegut, p. 34). Although, many people are fine with the way this society is being ran, in one section George explains to Hazel what would happen if he took his handicaps off then he will not be equal with everyone else, it is not fair to Hazel either because she has to keep wearing hers, “And pretty soon we’d be right back to the dark ages again…”(Vonnegut, p. 37). However, Harrison Bergeron, a 14 year-old boy, does not agree with this. “Now watch me come what I can become!” (Vonnegut, p. 39). He believes people should not be equal and be able to use the skills others do not have. On page 39, Harrison storms in and announces he is the emperor, and then he chooses his Empress and removes the handicaps from her and himself. Harrison does not want to be ruled by someone but rule himself; he wants to change the way things are being ran in this town....
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