Essay on Analysis Of Vonnegut 's ' Harrison Bergeron '

792 Words Oct 11th, 2015 4 Pages
The events in Vonnegut 's “Harrison Bergeron” occur in the year 2081 and “everybody was finally equal.” (1306) The notion of equality in the story differs markedly from the traditional American idea of equality. It is not only the idea of equal treatment under the law, but of being “equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else.” (1306) Those who were stronger wore weights on their bodies to handicap them, and the beautiful wore ugly masks. Rather than elevating those who are less advantaged in society, the government brings down every above average individual to the lowest common denominator. The ballerinas on TV wear “sashweights and bags of birdshot” and masks on their faces “so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in.” (1306) Instead of giving citizens equal access to education and opportunities for success, handicaps prevent uniquely gifted individuals from thriving, allegedly for the welfare of society.
The title character 's father, George Bergeron, whose “intelligence was way above normal,” must wear “a little mental handicap radio in his ear” that sends out a “sharp noise” every twenty seconds, so that he cannot to take “unfair advantage” of his brain. (1306) Each time George begins to have an intelligent thought, a horrific sound in his head interrupts it, such as when he begins “toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn 't be…

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