Harrison Bergeron Theme Essay

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Kurt Vonnegut has strong themes of lack of individuality and government control in his stories. In the story Harrison Bergeron, Vonnegut uses themes of both individuality and government control. In a country where "Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else"(Vonnegut 1) our main character Harrison is so exceptional that he cannot be properly handicapped by the government. Vonnegut shows that the outcome of not having individual characteristics can be disastrous as America becomes a land of stupid, slow people and the government officials murder the smart people who try to act above the equal people and equality is achieved, but at the cost of freedom …show more content…
another story by Vonnegut. Their individuality is replaced by whatever role they are playing at the time. In 'real' life, they are almost strangers to themselves and "He was too shy. He didn't stay away from meetings because he had something else to do. He wasn't married, didn't go out with women and didn't have any men friends either. He stayed away from all kinds of gatherings because he never could think of anything to say or do without a script"(Vonnegut 16). The fact that he didn't know his parents showed that he never had a sense of identity. As a result, he is unable to interact with anyone, including with potential female partners. He not only fails to understand himself but is frightened of declaring an identity of any sort. What is "sad" about Harry is that he lacks the strength to be anyone. Despite his talent, his own individuality frightens him. Helene's conflict is described using the metaphor of a bottle. When she explains to the narrator and Doris why she has been crying after her initial audition, she says, "When I meet somebody nice in real life, I feel as though I were in some kind of big bottle, as though I couldn't touch that person, no matter how hard I tried" (Vonnegut 21). The metaphor helps reveals that Helene and Harry don't lack individuality but instead refuses to let themselves worthy of an individual personality.

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