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Repressive Society in Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Essay

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The story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut is120 years in the future, which allows us to more easily accept some of the bizarre events that happen in the story such as when the character Harrison Bergeron is dancing with a ballerina and there is no law of gravity and motion, so they can almost touch the studio ceiling which is thirty feet high. The author emphasizes in his work themes such as freedom, mind manipulation, the American dream, and media influence, also the opposition between strength and weakness and knowledge and ignorance. The story illustrates that being equal to one another is not always the best way to live because everyone is different for a reason. Also, this is what makes everyone special in your particular way.
The most important theme that we can easily notice in the story is the lack of freedom, which is extremely significant to the American ideals, and Harrison demonstrates it as his escapes from jail, remove his handicaps, and influence others around him. In order to have a completely equal society in Harrison Bergeron’s world, people cannot choose what they want to take part in or what they are good at because if a person is above average in anything, even appearance, they are handicapped. These brain and body devices are implanted in an effort to make everyone equal. However, instead of raising everyone up to the better level, the government chooses instead to lower people to the lowest common level of human thought and action, which means that people with beautiful faces wear masks. Also, people with above average intelligence wear a device that gives a soul-shattering piercing noise directly into the ear to destroy any train of thought. Larger and stronger people have bags of buckshot padlocked a...


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In conclusion, the complete freedom and absolute equality have been a goal of innumerable societies throughout human history. However, these two ideal cannot exist together in their most perfect forms because the perfect forms of either freedom or equality represent total chaos or total oppression, as we can see in “Harrison Bergeron,” the consequences of sacrificing freedom for perfect equality. The author uses the story of this imaginary perfect world where everyone is happy to demonstrate that a society in which total equality exists is not only oppressive, but also inert and unproductive. Using his futuristic scenario, the simplicity of the society, and the actions of his characters, Vonnegut makes his point of view of a repressive society. In addition, societies that try to create total equality have almost always proven to be oppressive, such as China.


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