harrison bergeron

Topics: Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut, Dystopia Pages: 3 (967 words) Published: September 20, 2013


An Equal Society with a Strong Government

In 2081, all of society is forced to be equal. In Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s short story, Harrison Bergeron, everyone is assigned “handicaps” that make them equal to everyone else. These handicaps included wearing weights around the neck, wearing a mask to cover beauty, and having a device in the ear so thinking could not be overdone. “Nobody was smarter than anyone else; nobody was better looking than anyone else; nobody was stronger or quicker than anyone else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th amendments that were added to the Constitution.” (Vonnegut 369) Harrison Bergeron is a valid representation of the potential control of a government and the repercussions a society could face if every individual were forced to be identical. The short story is based off of three characters: Hazel, George and Harrison Bergeron. George was forced to wear a device in his ear that prevented him from thinking too much since his intelligence level was above normal. Hazel, on the other hand, “had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short burst.” (Vonnegut 370) Harrison was their son that was captured at the age of fourteen by the H-G government. Harrison was athletic and handsome. His handicaps included wearing headphones instead of an earpiece, spectacles that nearly made him blind, and about three hundred pounds of metal. “To offset his good looks he was forced to wear a red nose, shave off his eyebrows, and to cover his white teeth with black caps.” (Vonnegut 372) Hazel and George were watching television when news came on about Harrison Bergeron escaping from prison. The news cast told those watching that this man was extremely dangerous and flashed pictures of him upon the screen. George realized that it must be Harrison but the realization was quickly taken from his mind when the sound of a collision went off in his head. After George opened his eyes,...

Bibliography: Vonnegut, Kurt. “Harrison Bergeron.” Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.(1961) 1st release
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