Harrison Bergeron is a story written by Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut’s story is a warning to the world about the quest of equality, which is spreading all round in many nations with America on the lead. The story shows the reader how the equality issue can have negative impacts on people’s individuality, and the society. The story revolves around the protagonist, Harrison Bergeron who is an archetypical symbol that represents defiance, and individuality. He is used to represent the people who will stand up, and protest against cruel laws imposed by the state on equality, and encourage others to protest with him. Through the characterization of Harrison, George and Hazel, Vonnegut shows how the equality idea can go to the extreme. The characters are distracted by handicaps, and this affects their individuality and freedom. Vonnegut expresses his concerns about the issue of equality, and how it is taken to the extreme through his characters.
The setting of the story is in the future, 2081 of what will be happening in the world. The story is told in third person limited point of view, whereby the narrator is not a character in the book. In addition, the narrator does not draw conclusions, make decisions, or make judgments about the events. The objectivity of the narrator suggests a distancing from the hostile world of the story. The tone used by the author is critical, humorous and satirical. The story is full of humor despite the fact that, it is full of dark themes of oppression. Every dark event in the story is accompanied by a light moment of melancholy comedy.
Kurt Vonnegut uses irony in the development of his story Harrison Bergeron, in order to allow the reader to understand the conditions of equality. He opens the first paragra...
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... book is important because, it makes the reads to question the idea of equality in the society. In addition, it makes the reader compare what is happening in the world today, with the rise of equality issues, and the effects it can have in the society just like the people in Harrison Bergeron were affected. Vonnegut suggests that, total equality is not the best thing to strive for through his writing. He wants his readers to know its effects, and that the quest for equality is disastrous. Harrison Bergeron is a valuable piece of literature that should be read world wide, so that everyone can be able to know what we are getting into with the issue of equality, and the effects of an authoritarian government.
Vonnegut, Kurt. “Harrison Bergeron.” Making Literature Matter. Eds. John Clifford and John Schilb. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. 1512-1517.
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