Analysis Of Dystopian Society In Harrison Bergeron

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What defines an idealistic society? It could be where everyone is accepted, there are no social classes, or where no one is homeless or has to think about their next meal. In contrary, what defines a dystopian society? Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, Harrison Bergeron illustrates a dystopian society with total equality. The government achieves this status by authorizing handicaps for the citizens ensuring that nobody is smarter, better looking, or more athletic than anybody else, thus accomplishing total equality. Any outliers that are above average are restraint with weights and ear-pieces that disrupts thoughts, enforcing equality throughout the population. Set in the United States of America, the story trails the perspective of average Hazel …show more content…
Through the development of George as a strong-minded but cautious character, it exemplifies how the handicaps have taken away his freedom of thought. Just when George is about to think about ballerinas that appeared on the television, “another noise in his ear radio [scatters] his thoughts” (Vonnegut 33). As George is introduced as a character, it is obvious that the handicap restricts how much he thinks, thus taking away his freedom of thought. The lack of freedom suggests that the restrictions put in place to achieve total equality has backfired and has taken away one of the most important freedoms a human should have. Furthermore, another situation where the character is used to portray the flaws in a dystopian society with total equality is when Harrison Bergeron is introduced. Harrison Bergeron is portrayed as a prisoner who “is a genius,...an athlete... and should be regarded as extremely dangerous” (Vonnegut 3). His handicaps are like none others consisting of a large pair of earphones, scrap metal weights and spectacles with wavy lenses to make him half blind. However, later in the story after he rips apart all his handicaps, he is able to express his emotions through dancing with one of the ballerinas and kissing her. Through all the government’s restrictions on Harrison, he is characterized as an evil-doer and harmful to society. Nevertheless, Harrison has never done anything harmful to anyone besides rebelling against the government about the handicaps that were placed on him. Moreover, Harrison’s freedom and individuality are limited due to the government’s handicaps. Harrison is only portrayed as a criminal simply because he did not want to be restricted and rebelled against the government. Once his handicaps are taken off, he was able to express his emotions, feelings and individuality through the dance. In summary,

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