Research Essay: Harrison Bergeron
By: Jasmine Wesson
Equality is something people want to achieve but seems too difficult. Equality seems difficult because it’s such a complex and high goal for everyone to reach. In “Harrison Bergeron” a fictional short story by Kurt Vonnegut, total equality has been achieved. The small home of George and Hazel Bergeron, equality had been reached in 2081 but doesn’t seem quite right. Throughout Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, and the teaching of total equality he demonstrates how too much of a good thing could go terribly wrong. In “Harrison Bergeron” total equality is clearly demonstrated throughout the entire short story but it isn’t truly equal. The “Handicapper General” (Para. 1) helped achieve equality. The equality wasn’t true equality though, if someone was smarter than the average person they were required by law to wear a metal radio in their ear that way if you started thinking about something above average they would send a sound to cut off your thinking.(Para. 3) Everyone was also required to wear a bag full of lead balls around their neck but not everyone carries the same weight as other people. The dancers on television had to wear masks so no one would know how pretty or ugly you were and the prettier you were the more ugly of a mask you were required to wear. The television announcers also had to change the way their voices sounded so their voices wouldn’t be attractive. (Para. 39-40) Even though it may seem as if there is equality in the town there isn’t. Hazel, George’s wife doesn’t have to wear a metal handicap in her ear, the ballerina had to wear weights that were worn by 200 pound men, and the Handicap General is higher than anyone else, which makes the “equality” Not even truly exist. In Harrison Bergeron the handicap general represents the fairness of society and demonstrates how the view of total fairness is in control by only one person and everyone counts on them regardless of what they...
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