Harrison Bergeron

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Rise and Demise of an Extraordinarily Average Man
“All men are created equal” these are the words of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson believed we should live in a world like this, but are we meant to live in a society where everyone is equal and normal? The ideas of egalitarianism can be dangerous if they are interpreted too literally. The agonizing and frustrating normal world in which “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. shows a civilization in which being normal is the only life style that people can live. Beauty is not beauty in this story; in fact it is the complete opposite. Can someone reach their full potential without feeling good about themselves? Is it possible to live life in a world like this? Potential, freedom, and beauty are all abominations in the society of “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., but they are all but abolished in this generation of “normal people” where being unique is deemed as illegal. No one is better, everyone is worse. But in a world where the extraordinary is outlawed, only the outlaws are extraordinary.

For “Harrison Bergeron”, you have very little freedom in this story. There is no possible way to liberate yourself from this society. So what does someone that is extraordinarily above average do? He rebels. Freedom isn’t a strategy, it’s a goal and “Harrison Bergeron” knows this. Total equality is not something that is worth striving for as many people believe, what this would actually lead to would be the society that is seen in this story. To achieve physical and mental equality among all Americans, the government in Vonnegut’s story tortures its citizens causing everyone’s freedom to be stripped from them. The government could mutilate people to do exactly want they want in the world depicted by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., this is a prime example of communism. If a civilization like this existed, wouldn’t it be classified as nothing more than a communist society? I believe that readers have interpreted the dystopia...
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