"Harrison Bergeron"

Essay by bbtCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

download word file, 11 pages 4.7 2 reviews

Downloaded 189 times

With imperfect eyes, total equality is hard to accomplish, especially with the notion of judgment and competition constantly tempting otherwise. However, the high hope of peace and utopia in fulfillment has always been a human thrive. Throughout history many men have attempted such perfection. Karl Marx inquired the structure of communism through the Manifesto to ensure equality to a large socially grouped people. According to Vonnegut, so did the U.S. government, in the year 2081. In the outrageous short story of "Harrison Bergeron", many historic achievements and ideas, like the Manifesto, can closely parallel with that of the future outlook described by Vonnegut. Vonnegut shows the ridiculousness of the outcome of this, at the time, popular ideology with satire and exaggerations.

Harrison Bergeron opens with a paragraph that immediately gives a background setting to the story as a whole. The time of 2081 is indicated, but more importantly the author chose to mention the "211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution".

This is important because of the historical pattern that has developed. The Constitution of the United States had 23 amendments when this particular story was written (26 amendments currently). This original number of twenty three was achieved between 1791 and 1961, which is over a time period of one hundred and seventy years. This story itself sets place one hundred and twenty years from the initial composure of the story in 1961. During those years the amendments took over an eight hundred percent increase in number. This is important because of the trend that occurs within socialism and the same augmentation.

If one were to view the regime of Adolf Hitler, this same rapid development of laws and dictation is observed. He subtly moved into power and changed things around in little time also sky-rocketing the laws and...