Freedom, And Communism In Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron

1456 Words 6 Pages
Short stories and novels are notorious for having an underlying meaning and authors will put their own convictions, biases, and views within these works to show how they feel about a particular subject or issue. The author creates an environment filled with irony, double meanings, symbols, etc. to convey a certain message through the story; the author will be ambiguous and use parallels to determine how the story will interact with his personal convictions. Kurt Vonnegut portrays his views towards equality, freedom, and Communism through his short story Harrison Bergeron using dialogue, diction, actions, and feelings.
In Harrison Bergeron, Vonnegut develops, or under-develops, his characters according to a twisted, “idealized” society where
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Hazel, for instance, cries when she sees her son Harrison die on the television screen, but she cannot remember why she was crying. George asks her what she had been crying about, and she replies “I forget” (Vonnegut 6). George, on the other hand, can think and know what upset him, but cannot remember why it upset him due to the handicaps. Vonnegut portrays the two characters in such a light as to distinguish between the different categories of people in their society: George falls in the handicap portion and Hazel falls in the normal portion. Vonnegut wants to differentiate between what society created and what nature intended. He allows for the reader to see how the government interferes with every aspect of life by showing one of the most important aspects of being a cognitive person. By taking away the ability to remember or feel, Vonnegut takes away the meaning of existence. He is commenting on how the government in this society would rather have stupid, uncaring, unfeeling people than a productive people who can think and feel. He presents the government as something that is afraid of being contradicted and will therefore go to any lengths to stop the people from thinking; Vonnegut allows …show more content…
He used the characters’ diction, dialogue, feelings, and actions to portray his own thoughts and feelings about the world. Vonnegut used his short story as a commentary on the issues at the time and his opinions toward those contemporary issues. He manipulated characters and ideas –by making them somewhat static-- to fit what he wanted to say to the world about how he felt regarding equality and freedom. Vonnegut’s views are very simple. He believes that the stifling of people and of society will lead to the stagnation and desecration of civilization. Vonnegut believes that in order to function as a society, free will and free thinking needs to exist to establish new ideas and inventions. In order for society to be progressive, the government must not control all aspects of people’s lives. He almost warns against this type of government suggesting what people and society will turn into if they are not able to express themselves. Vonnegut constructs a very complicated story in which he tries to guard people from turning into this. The whole point of Vonnegut’s short story is to teach the lesson that people must be free in order to be productive and that productivity and competition is the life force behind a healthy, thriving

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