"Harrison Bergeron" Analysis

Essay by XSoutheSideChildXCollege, UndergraduateA+, September 2008

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"If I tried to get away with it, then other people'd get away with it-and soon we'd be right back to the dark ages again…" This statement by George Bergeron sums up Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s short story in one line. "Harrison Bergeron" is a satirical story of a futuristic United States in the year 2081, where all individuals are made equal regardless of what their natural born characteristics were. In order to achieve this society needed to be made equal, and controlled.

"Harrison Bergeron" is a suitable title given after the main character in the story. This tale is 100 years into the future in springtime and occurs in a matter of a day or a couple days where society inevitably attains equality, but this equality is threatened by a single individual. The accomplishment of this equality was achieved by handicaps which took away any advantage a human being had over another.

Harrison Bergeron dealt with many external conflicts, handicaps were severe which meant he was far more superior to others in society because no ordinary person would need 300 lbs. of scrap metal and masks of indescribably repulsiveness along with headphones the size of coconuts to create a sense of "normality." In the beginning of this third-person-limited point of view short story George and Hazel are robbed from their son and they can't even remember it.

Characterization of this story is developed mainly through actions and descriptions of the society and how it operates. Society was controlled by these handicaps, the headphone and ear plugs omitted a sharp sound wave which scattered human thoughts every 20 seconds. However, Harrison was taken to prison in consequence to out weighing these same handicaps, but even prison couldn't secure him for long. The conflict of Harrison being a threat to society...