Harrison Bergeron

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Personal individuality and diversity are essential for any successful society. One might argue that in order for Utopia to exist, individuals must be equal in every aspect to limit disparity. In the short story, “Harrison Bergeron,” Kurt Vonnegut Jr. creates such a world where equality exists in every facet of society. In theory one would assume equality among individuals would eliminate competition and lead to a happy successful society. This is certainly not the case; equality of such a nature would lead to a stagnant and boring society. It is the expression of individuality and the differences among people which lead to a successful society.

In “Harrison Bergeron” Amendments to the 211, 212, and 213th Constitution made everyone equal. One of the amendments equalized everyone’s intelligence. People like George Harrison, who had an above normal intelligence, were required to wear little mental handicap radios. The radios were tuned to a government transmitter that sent out sharp noises every twenty seconds. By law, intelligent people were required to wear transmitters to refrain from “taking unfair advantage of their brains” (21). Controlling people’s intelligence would take an adverse affect towards the society. If intelligent individuals were controlled to think similarly to below-average people, there wouldn’t be advancements in our society. For example, controlling an individual’s brain would effect how our society and government runs. Also, if our nation had below-average intelligence, it would result in a loss of humanity.

The second Amendment to the Constitution made the society equal in looks. It required that no one was better looking that anyone else. For example in the story, beautiful ballerinas were handicapped with masks. Also in the story, Harrison Bergeron was handicapped to “offset his good looks by wearing a red rubber ball for a nose, shaving his eyebrows, and covering his white teeth with black caps” (24). Diversity in...
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