Harrison Bergeron

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With Light there is No Darkness and with Idealism There is No Truth

Just like light cannot exist in harmony with darkness, idealism and truth are two facets that in no circumstance can get along and exist collectively. In other words, idealism usually implies perfection, while truth implies something harsh and dirty (when it is juxtaposed with idealism). Truth, however, can be literally symbolized as a diamond in the rough, because while it may be pure and beautiful on the inside, it is covered in dirt and other rocks on the outside, that signify its contamination of an ideal society. The short story, Harrison Bergeron, is in accordance to this, since the ideal of total equality is promoted to the point of handicapping the gifted and the talented. The story takes places in 2081, where a futuristic America exists in complete equality in every form. This constraint put on the citizens is an ideal characteristic for the government, but for the people it is a burden that diminishes their identity. Therefore, in Harrison Bergeron, author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. explores the idea of the rejection of truth in an idealism environment through the use of handicaps and constraints on individuals, the annihilation of rebels and their rebellion, and through the purpose of the government.

Through the use of constraints and handicaps Vonnegut Jr., expresses how truth cannot be accepted in an ideal society and that needs truth to be rejected, in order for an ideal society to exist. Early on in the story, the narrator sets the mellow scene of George and his wife Hazel watching TV and describes him to symbolize the pain felt by some individuals. "George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required to wear it by law at all times. Every twenty seconds or so, [it] would send out some sharp noise to keep [him] from taking unfair advantage of [his] brain. (pg 1)" In this case, truth was equivalent to one's intellectual...
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