Essay about Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron: A Picture of Inequality

Essay about Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron: A Picture of Inequality

Length: 657 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


Illustration of false equality

"The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal" (208). This in a nutshell is the premise of Kurt Vonnegut’s short story "Harrison Bergeron". Vonnegut’s title character Harrison Bergeron is a picture perfect human being: very tall, handsome and intelligent. Although our society would deem these desirable attributes, in this story’s 2081 AD setting they are highly objectionable. Kurt Vonnegut uses the character Harrison Bergeron to illustrate the danger of imposing total equality on a diversified population.

In Bergeron’s society uniformity is strictly imposed upon all citizens. Physical adjustments are levied to achieve this uniformity: tall people wear weights, disturbing sounds administered through earpieces deter intelligent thought, and hideous masks conceal beauty (208, 210-211). "Handicap Generals" continually clear citizens’ minds allowing them to think only in the present. These controls force the suppression of all individuality.

Because of his extraordinary innate attributes, fourteen-year-old Harrison contends with extrav...

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on `` Harrison Bergeron `` By Kurt Vonnegut Junior

- Abraham Lincoln once stated “These men ask for just the same thing, fairness, and fairness only. This is, so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have it.” It is widely believed that fairness cannot be achieved without placing parameters upon others. This idea destroys our differing perceptions of what it means to shape a “fair” community. Equality and fairness often coincide, and with that, their respective definitions are commonly misinterpreted. In “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Junior, it is essential for the reader to acknowledge that one 's perspective of an ideal society reflects their measure of self-worth, because it affects the way we interpret events in our daily...   [tags: Kurt Vonnegut, Harrison Bergeron, Dystopia]

Better Essays
945 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Kurt Vonnegut 's ' Harrison Bergeron '

- For those unfamiliar with Kurt Vonnegut’s writings, many of them are categorized as “science-fiction”, however, many of his stories are not too far from reality. One example of this is Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron”. The story illustrates the dangers that lay in trying to form a perfect utopian society. The story shows how total equality can have detrimental consequences. The story revolves around a central theme that creating total equality can be dangerous for society. The story, “Harrison Bergeron” is set in the future; the year 2081 to be exact and centers on a family of three: Hazel, George, and their 14-year-old son, Harrison....   [tags: Kurt Vonnegut, Harrison Bergeron, Dystopia]

Better Essays
1610 words (4.6 pages)

Unequality in Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Essay

- Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.” Kurt Vonnegut portrays Aristotle’s philosophy brilliantly in his short story “Harrison Bergeron.” The story depicts the American government in the future mandating physical handicaps in an attempt to make everyone equal. Vonnegut describes a world where no one is allowed to excel in the areas of intelligence, athletics, or beauty. Yet, the inequalities among the people shine even brighter....   [tags: aristotle, society, god]

Better Essays
860 words (2.5 pages)

Government's Restriction of Free Will Depicted in Kurt Vonnegut's "2BR02B", "Welcome to the Monkey House", and "Harrison Bergeron"

- Many books, novels, and stories have been written about the U.S. government and the ways that it runs the country. Some of these books are praising, and some are very critical. Kurt Vonnegut is an author that does both simultaneously. Kurt Vonnegut's "2BR02B", "Welcome to the Monkey House", and "Harrison Bergeron" depict Vonnegut's view of the future through the central theme of a supreme government that restricts free will. Each of these stories have great examples of this theme, and he shows his view of the future of the United States through them in all entirety....   [tags: 2BR02B, Welcome to the Monkey House, Harrison Berg]

Better Essays
1436 words (4.1 pages)

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Essay

- Ever since the beginning of time, Americans have been struggling to obtain equality. The main goal is to have a country where everyone can be considered equal, and no one is judged or discriminated against because of things out of their control. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Plays with this idea of total equality in his futuristic short story, Harrison Bergeron. The setting is in 2081, where everyone is equal. No one is allowed to be better than anybody else. The government makes anyone who would be considered above average wear a transmitting device to limit their thoughts to twenty seconds at a time, which is considered average in this day....   [tags: Kurt Vonnegut, Harrison Bergeron, Irony, Dystopia]

Better Essays
1139 words (3.3 pages)

Equality Is A Matter Of Balance Essay

- Equality is the pentacle of any nation, and the more quality that a nation has the better quality of life for its people. Equality is extremely important to maintain balance in a modern community, and its people. For societies excessive inequality leads to conflict. It is not surprising that the main protagonists of revolution are often those who have the least and who are at the receiving end of inequality. The word 'equality ' is often paired with 'diversity ', which means 'sameness ' and 'difference '....   [tags: Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut, Equality]

Better Essays
1501 words (4.3 pages)

Harrison Bergeron, By Kurt Vonnegut Essay

- The short story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut epitomizes what solid convictions can make people do and where this, thusly, can lead society to. The inventors of this general public firmly trust that the fundamental driver of friction is contrast among individuals. This solid conviction makes them take great measures to make everybody in the general public equivalent. As indicated by them, a definitive perfect world is the place each individual is equivalent. Be that as it may, as demonstrated further in the paper, their error of the expressions "fairness" and "joy" drives the general public well on a descending way to being an oppressed world....   [tags: Kurt Vonnegut, Harrison Bergeron, Dystopia]

Better Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)

Repressive Society in Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Essay

- 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....   [tags: Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut]

Better Essays
762 words (2.2 pages)

Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut Essay example

- 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....   [tags: Harrison Bergeron Essays]

Better Essays
1574 words (4.5 pages)

Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Essay

- Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut “The story is a satire, a parody of an ideological society divorced from common sense reality” (Townsend). As Townsend stated Kurt Vonnegut makes a satire about society in his fictional short story Harrison Bergeron, which in their society there has been attempt of conformity through the handicaps of the people, the similarity to an authoritarian government, and the technology, whereas the people will eventually overcome. The Kind if government authority seen both mimics and satirizes the way Americans came to see the enemy (the Soviet Union) during the Cold War, which was near its height of distrust and fear in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s....   [tags: Harrison Bergeron Essays]

Better Essays
569 words (1.6 pages)