Harrison Bergeron Critical Analysis

Topics: Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut, Tall poppy syndrome Pages: 2 (748 words) Published: April 24, 2013
Harrison Bergeron Critical Analysis
In the story Harrison Bergeron in the year 2081 everyone is equal, no one is smatter, better looking, stronger, faster, etc. than anyone else, but rather everyone is “average”. This story raises the idea of tall poppy syndrome. A derogatory term used to describe a social phenomenon in which people are resented, attacked, put down, and criticized by society because their talents or achievements place them above and distinguish them from their peers. This is evident in the characters Harrison Bergeron, George Bergeron, and the ballerina whose talents are being hindered by the government (handicapper general) in the story. Harrison Bergeron is and absurdly handsome, strong, genius who outpaces his peers. His cockiness, belief that he is better than, and will to live up to his full potential is what drives him to want to overthrow the government, and is also what brings him to his demise. George Bergeron is a physically strong, intelligent analytical thinker who is prevented from persistent concentration by government issued handicaps. He lacks drive and spirit to embrace his slightly above average talents and is contempt with abiding by the rules, respecting the law in fear of reverting back to the days when competition existed. George character in a sense makes us question our own passive ways for adhering to laws of the land. Lastly the ballerina in the story is tremendously gifted at dance and because of this she’s ordered to wear absurd amounts of weights and an extremely hideous mask to hide her extraordinary beauty. These characters are dumb downed and striped of their uniqueness in order to conform with government laws of 2081, indented to make everyone equal in a sense that no one is prettier, smarter, stronger, or faster than anyone else. The character Hazel Bergeron does not need handicaps because she is incapable of prolonged thought. She is an average woman, which in the year 2081 essential means stupid. She...
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