Imagine a world where an oppressive government captures what many call diversity. Where ugly is known as beauty and intelligence is insignificant. “They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else.” (Vonnegut) This is the future that Harrison experiences, in the short story “Harrison Bergeron,” by Kurt Vonnegut. It is the year 2081 and the government handicaps every citizen with make up or weights to create equality. Where there are over than 200 amendments and the government has full control of all citizens, this is indeed against what America had been built on. Harrison Bergeron touches on the civil rights and how communist a government has become. Freedom of independent thinking, freedom of speech and the people’s diversity were taken in this new government. Government has no right to take away the people’s freedom of speech, thought or diversity for any reason.
Free thinking is what allows humans to exceed others and create unique ideas. Without free thinking people would be brain-dead zombies who listen to anyone, even an oppressive government. “…Stupidly repeating her comment that "that one was a doozy"” (Gale) this is what a person without free thinking becomes. A dumb witted, easy to control citizen who forgets all thoughts in a matter of minutes is the future most average men and women have to look forward to in this short story. In the story, Harrison’s father, George, is forced to wear a machine that has been developed to scramble the brains of those who think too much. The government to not only takes away the free thinking of...
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...rt Vonnegut stresses the dangers of a communist government in his short story, and urges people to take a hint of this possible future and carefully decide the fate of their new government.
Farrell, Susan. "'Harrison Bergeron'." Critical Companion to Kurt Vonnegut: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work, Critical Companion. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts on File, Inc. 9 March 2010. http://www.fofweb.com
Reed, Peter J. "Harrison Bergeron." Literary Reference Center. Ebsco Host, 1961. Web. Feb. & March 2010.
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