ENG112 hw 10/29/2013
Harrison Begeron via Marxist
In Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s “Harrison Bergeron” the author satirically uses the the parents, Hazel and George, to explain how those who have the ability to resist oppression but neglect too will inevitably remain oppressed and suffer the greatest consequences. The story of Harrison Bergeron clearly has an overly marxist feel from start to finish. No more evident is the opening sentence, “everybody was finally equal”. We quickly learn the unfortunately high cost that this 2081 American Utopia has paid for such equality.
The “Handicapper General” and the “211th,212th,213th” amendment, have stripped every citizen of their individuality, talents, and even intelligence in the name of fairness. These laws imposed by the HG men are upheld via barbaric instruments intended to impede any natural advantage one may have, lowering everyone to an apparent common denominator. If you were swift or graceful you were forced to wear weights to restrict your abilities as the ballerinas on the television were. If you were born with an “above normal” intelligence like George you were ordered by law to wear an ear piece that would deliver frequent mind numbing sounds restricting any “unfair advantage of ...[your] brain”.
At the end of the story we see how the meek are the ones most truly condemned by their blind coherence to oppression. After George and Hazel's son Harrison, who valiantly raises up against oppression, is shot in cold blood by the Handicapper general on nation television Hazel can not even recall what she saw and George is non the wiser having not been in the room and constantly blinded by deafening sounds. The exchange between them when George returns is the most telling of the whole story for even as the tears from Hazel eyes still wet her face she can not recall why she was sad. In this moment we realize the true extreme tragedy that the author is trying to convey. Those who blindly...
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