Theme is as crucial to the story as any other element, it be192ing the main idea and message being portrayed within it. But sometimes the theme isn's so easily understood, "it may be what the happenings add up to, what the story is about" (Kennedy 185). In a story written by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. entitled Harrison Bergeron, this type of theme is apparent. The story doesn't express its purpose as obvious as most and careful attention is required to fully understand the writers intent. Vonnegut main purpose in the story Harrison Bergeron is to criticize the modern day tendency of excessive equivalence.
Everyone is not only considered equal, but by law is required to be. A Handicapper General is put in charge of placing restrictions on the strong to minimalize their effectiveness, and the weak are just as they are. Against Darwin's views, this creates an equality between the people within the society, but it exchanges it for free will of thought and for any chance of societal improvement. George and Hazel Bergeron, husband and wife, are two different people on this spectrum. Hazel being of the norm and requiring less handicaps then her husband, and George having to wear heavy bags to control his strength and ear piece that "would send out some sharp noise to keep people [...] from taking unfair advantage of their brains" (Vonnegut 192). This prevents the people that have amazing abilities in a certain area of things from excelling, which ultimately is a detriment to the functioning of a striving society. The Bergeron's also had a son taken away from them at the age of fourteen for having too many "advantages",
and thrown in jail.
This control in today's society would create tremendous disapproval and would never be aloud according to the opinion of the people. Today the power is still in the hands of the people, generally, but when will the opinions of the people require these ridiculous handicaps to shut everyone up then it...
Cited: Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. "Harrison Bergeron." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. X. J. Kennedy, and Dana Gioia. 4Th compacted. New York: Pearson Longman, 2005. 191-196.
X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. "Theme" Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. X. J. Kennedy, and Dana Gioia. 4Th compacted. New York: Pearson Longman, 2005.
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