Between Harrison Bergeron and a&P Essays

1059 Words Apr 22nd, 2010 5 Pages
Tim Kenda English 102 Short Story Essay 2/28/10 Heroism Through Choice When people think of heroes, they often think of muscle bound men in spandex with unrealistic powers of flight, strength, or x-ray vision. But in real life, heroes are often determined based on the smallest of situations and their outcomes. In both of the stories I have chosen (A&P and Harrison Bergeron), the main characters are classified as heroes because of their willingness to defy the authoritive forces around them, whether it be the store manager Lengel in A&P or the Handicapper General in Harrison Bergeron, as well as their willingness to strike out on their own instead of adhering to social norms. In Harrison Bergeron, the main character Harrison …show more content…
The cashier represents many of America’s younger generation in that aspect. In the story Harrison Bergeron, the main character is a “genius and an athlete” and is sent to jail for “suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government.”(Vonnegut 536). He then breaks out of jail and declares on national television that he is the emperor. Now in our society, these actions would be considered those of a madman or a lunatic. But in his society, Harrison’s actions are very heroic. When Harrison rips off his handicaps and declares to the world he is emperor, he represents the idea that individualism and competition are superior to similarity and monotony. His actions also represent the destruction of the limitations that society has attempted to place on him just because he was different. Also, the fact that he did this and was then killed makes it even more heroic. This shows us that Harrison’s real intent was not to simply take over the world, but rather his intent was to show everyone that they could be different and they could fight the limitations imposed on them. The theme of this story is one of oppression and normalcy, and idea that Harrison attempts to destroy. Harrison becomes a symbol of freedom and liberation, showing us as readers that it is possible to break free of social normalcy despite the possibly grave consequences. In both Harrison Bergeron and A&P the main characters in the story are considered

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