07 October 2012
Since the beginning of time citizens have been battling each other for equality, whether it was during the women’s suffrage or standing up against segregation. People have suffered and have paid the price for equality. But is total equality a good thing or a bad thing? But is there such a thing as too much quality? In the short story “Harris Bergeron,” author Kurt Vonnegut creates a society where total quality is achieved and citizens live their lives without freedom or independence. Throughout his use of character, setting and plot, Vonnegut teaches an important lesson of the dangers of total equality.
In the short story “Harrison Bergeron” the characters have become miserable and depressed due to the fact that they are living under oppression. For example, Vonnegut emphasizes the pain George feels while wearing his handicaps by saying, “It was such a doozy that George was white and trembling, and tears stood on the rims of his red eyes” (36). This description illustrates how handicaps are dreadful accessories because they afflict pain and bring negative effects. The handicaps cause fatigue and discomfort by giving them a difficult day to day life. A simple device such as a radio transmitter that shoots out little bursts of sound would interrupt someone’s train of though and scatter away anything on their minds. The handicaps have made life terrible and glum. And thus, George responds when Hazel suggests he removes his handicaps, “I don’t mind it,” he said. “I don’t notice it anymore. It’s just a part of me” (37). This description of George with heavy weights explains how he doesn’t acknowledge them anymore due to the fact that has been required to wear them ever since the 211, 212 and 213 amendments were established. He thinks of them as if was another body part, as if they were a part of him. Society forces people to carry handicaps and make them suffer. Sadly, they have no choice but to cope...
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