Narratology

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Narrative Structure

The simple folksy dialogue between the two younger siblings hazel and George is very effective in downplaying their intelligence. With lines such as “that was doozy” or when George explains the sound he heard by saying “ sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer” George being so above average in intelligence has a mental handicap radio in his ear that beeps every 20 seconds in order to prevent him from taking unfair advantage of his thoughts. These conversations are simple and believable despite the absurd 20 second beeping George must experience, Vonnegut does not have to say this is absurd as it is interpreted by readers through dialogue.

The story follows diachronic order, Harrison is taken away from his family, then escapes jail and declares himself emperor, is shot down by Diana Moon Glampers and the story ends with the Bergerons watching this all on TV yet displaying not emotions to their death of their own son with the exception of Hazel’s tears although she herself has no idea why she is crying. Synchronic order is not common as the story aims to focus Narrative Structure

The simple folksy dialogue between the two younger siblings hazel and George is very effective in downplaying their intelligence. With lines such as “that was doozy” or when George explains the sound he heard by saying “ sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer” George being so above average in intelligence has a mental handicap radio in his ear that beeps every 20 seconds in order to prevent him from taking unfair advantage of his thoughts. These conversations are simple and believable despite the absurd 20 second beeping George must experience, Vonnegut does not have to say this is absurd as it is interpreted by readers through dialogue.

The story follows diachronic order, Harrison is taken away from his family, then escapes jail and declares himself emperor, is shot down by Diana Moon Glampers and the story ends with the Bergerons watching this all on TV yet displaying not emotions to their death of their own son with the exception of Hazel’s tears although she herself has no idea why she is crying. Synchronic order is not common as the story aims to focus Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron” both mimics and satirizes the way Americans came to see the enemy – socialism/communism and, specifically the Soviet Union during the cold war, which peaked at its height of distrust and fear in the late 1950-60’s during which this story was written. It explores the theory of “tall poppy syndrome”, when people of brilliance or exceptional ability are brought down, criticized or cut due to the idea humans are unable to accept someone else being placed on a higher pedestal. As the story’s main concept is enforcing equality among all human beings by giving those with better traits handicaps in order to create a balanced level of intelligence and beauty among all. The short story draws upon a controversial speech made by Newton Minow titled “The Vast Wasteland” in it he explained that instead of challenging people to think, television programming was making it easier for people to avoid serious thought. Within the story of Harrison Bergeron television is used as a time filler, a method of preventing average people from thinking, similar to Minow’s description.

Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron” both mimics and satirizes the way Americans came to see the enemy – socialism/communism and, specifically the Soviet Union during the cold war, which peaked at its height of distrust and fear in the late 1950-60’s during which this story was written. It explores the theory of “tall poppy syndrome”, when people of brilliance or exceptional ability are brought down, criticized or cut due to the idea humans are unable to accept someone else being placed on a higher pedestal. As the story’s main concept is enforcing equality among all human beings by giving...
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