Kurt Vonnegut And Ralph Ellison's Harrison Bergeron And Black Ball

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How does a satirical short story illustrate a journey to identity? In Kurt Vonnegut and Ralph Ellison 's stories, Harrison Bergeron and Black Ball, there is a such jouney but they are far different from each other yet are in some ways the same. Both a satirical piece and a serious racial piece have real elements of a individuals journey to identity. Lets take a look at the two works.

How are the two stories similar in their characters path to identity. First let 's look at the short story "Harrison Bergeron" and draw a few comparisons and find some differences between the two. In "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut the main character Harrison is out of the picture. The story takes place in a world where everyone is the same and those who
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The story stresses that everyone is the same (equal) and there is no identity or individuality this quote from the beginning of the books states this quite well. "The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren 't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way.". In this quote you see that there is no difference between people, except the main character of course. Harrison you later find out is a tall, strong, handsome and intelligent person in a world of equality. At the beginning of the story he is in jail for refusing to wear his handicaps because he wants to be himself, he wants his own identity. Short story made shorter Harrison breaks free of his handicaps and later breaks free of prison and gives the nation a look at what it means to have an identity as he pulls the handicaps from a dancer on live television and reveals her true identity as a beautiful young women. In the end of the story Harrison …show more content…
In "The Black Ball" By Ralph Ellison the main character an unnamed African American working at a hotel does know he needs a an identity he isn 't even aware of it, unlike in the "Harrison Bergeron" story where the main character is fighting for his identity. In fact I believe that the fact the character remains unnamed is a call to the fact that the character has not yet taken his journey yet. In the story we follow an African American through a day of his life working in a hotel in post civil right America. The character seems almost in a daze as he moves through the day and takes care of his son. His son a young, smart and talkative little boy seems to be the character 's identity. His son asks many questions and even asks about his color and his race. It seems that the character is gliding through the days whereas his son who has a more developed identity is curious and is almost bothered by his father 's lack of worry about identity. This is a common theme in both stories, the child is aware and on an ongoing journey to identity while the parents, or in this case parent, are floating through the day not finding anything wrong with the identity they have at that moment. A great quote that really brings the characters lack of identity home, is when he talks about his regular interaction with his

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