In the short story, “Harrison Bergeron,” published in 1961, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. discusses equality in America in 2081. His story places you into a world where everyone is made equal in every way. Anyone with talents, like beauty, strength, and higher mental capacity are made handicapped by wearing massive weights, thought scattering headsets, and masks. These handicaps were set in place to create an equal world within the United States. While creating an equal society though, they are holding people back from their true potential. I believe Vonnegut is showing how if society were equal, like in his story, people would be held back from their natural gifts.
“Everybody was finally equal,” is how Vonnegut began his short story. He begins his story like this to make readers think about their views on equality. Vonnegut continues on in his story explaining the handicaps people are given for people to remain equal. These handicaps are cruel weights and masks that hinder your appearance set in place by the government. Instead of giving enhancements to people that may have needed them, they have placed haphazardous handicaps to prevent people from excelling out of the range of “equal.” I believe this is inhumane. If in cheerleading we were all equal, we would not be able to have different types of bases and we would be unable to tumble due to the inability of others. The government is hindering people's abilities to enhance themselves. This is also hindering society by stopping people from creating a better world with advanced technology thanks to the mental handicap that causes their thoughts to flee “like bandits from a burglar alarm.” Sadly the people in this world are completely unaware of how hard of a life they have. They have not known any different type of world. They don’t even notice their handicaps anymore; they’re “just a part of me” as George said. Unable to take off their handicaps, even at home, they have grown accustomed to wearing them all of their...
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