The, By And Antigone By Kurt Vonnegut Jr, And `` Antigone `` Essay

The, By And Antigone By Kurt Vonnegut Jr, And `` Antigone `` Essay

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The natural drive to remain alive is exhibited by all living things. It is the very foundation of human nature, and it seems every effort is made to preserve life. However, occasionally an individual will knowingly and confidently walk to their own death. Sacrificial rebellion is a phenomenon well illustrated in the works "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, and "Antigone" by the philosopher and poet Sophocles. Why is it that the characters Harrison and Antigone willing to die for their ideals or values? Self-sacrifice is often the modus operandi of those who wish to cause a productive social upheaval, the idea being that if they can cause enough of a shock to society that it will lead to a substantial change within that society. This sacrifice demonstrates to the public that the injustice faced is so great, that it transcends the value of a single life. Although both Harrison and Antigone lose their lives in protest of the law, the way each of them chose to protest is very different from one another, and their motives for resorting to such a severe form of protest are distinct from each other, as well.
Foremost, the distinction of each character 's motives are that Antigone 's derive from a personal injustice, while Harrison 's motives stem from his disillusionment with the societal hierarchy, and his concern for all those within that society. In Antigone 's case, the decree that her brother Polyneices was to be posthumously dishonored by being denied a burial and left as carrion for scavengers was a personal transgression against her family. This is why Antigone is quick to ask her sister Ismene to support her cause. The personal nature of Antigone 's vendetta can be gleaned when she tells Ismene, "He is my brother. And he...

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...y in defence of their own morality. The acts of rebellion depicted by each character encourage the reader to defend their principles no matter how severe the consequences are for doing so. By becoming a martyr for her beliefs, Antigone claims her unjust death will be imprinted in the memories of everyone when she prays to her Gods, "You will remember what things I suffer, and at what men 's hands, because I would not transgress the laws of heaven" (Sophocles 1020). Contrarily, Harrison 's brief moment of victorious celebration is immediately forgotten even by his own parents the moment it is terminated, leaving little doubt that Harrison 's bravery failed to shake anyone from their adherence to authority or their illusory equality. In the end, Antigone was able to achieve her goal despite her death, whereas Harrison died before he could bring his vision to fruition.

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