Course #: ENGL 2201-032
Paper #: Seven
Word Count: 870
In the short story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut the theme of the story was based on his satirical view of the human's desire to achieve equality. Equality is something that has been fought for by all different ethnic groups since the beginning of time and is still being fought for today. Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron" is based on the issue of equality and the struggle for humans to possess it. According to Vonnegut in order for equality to be possessed by all people then three main things would have to take place 1) make everyone have the same intelligence, 2) make everyone have the same strengths and weaknesses, and 3) make everyone look alike.
In "Harrison Bergeron" the ability to posses characteristics that were individually unique were taken away and replaced by a society which strived for all things to be similar (equal). This was achieved by taking away all makeup for women, everyone must be on the same physical level, handicaps for all people, and other accessories put on the body to make all people have the same physical strengths. This is exemplified when Hazel and George were watching the ballerinas and the conversation went blank because of loud noises in both George's and the ballerina's ears. In the story it states that "Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant that she couldn't think about anything in except in short burst. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. . . Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people . . . from taking advantage of their brains." In order for everyone to be equal there could be nobody of higher intelligence because that would give them an advantage over the people of lower mental capacity.
The methods in place to achieve equality in "Harrison Bergeron" made sure that everyone...