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Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr (Analysis)

Kurt Vonnegut Jr has written the short story which has been selected for analysis. The narrative opens concerning equality, thanks to the government. Diana Moon Glampers who is the Handicap General enforces the law of balance. The story then shifts to a couple, George and Hazel Bergeron, who are busy watching television.

The government has forced people to wear handicap bags to show them that they are not superior to others. The Bergeron’s son, Harrison, has been taken away by the H-G men for wishing to overthrow the government. The ballerina show is interrupted by a news bulletin revealing that Harrison has escaped prison. Moments later, Harrison shows up and takes off his handicap bags to show people that he is far superior to the rest. However, soon enough Diana shows up and shoots him. The news bulletin is interrupted, and Hazel forgets that her son was just killed on stage while George had been away, therefore, he couldn’t get why Hazel was teary-eyed.

Vonnegut’s short story critiques the society and its attitude towards the concept of equality. From the story, it can be observed that attaining equality is impossible and can prove to be dangerous as has been shown through the actions of Harrison who tries to break free from the shackles of the society but is killed for it (Vonnegut, n.p). The author wishes to show the readers that though many people may wish for total equality, however, such a scenario is too risky as no individual is born with the same traits. Embracing other people’s uniqueness is the best option as every person is unique in one way or another. Vonnegut criticizes American society for forcing people to be average as George has to continually hear noise in his head when he tries to think of something. At the same time, his wife, Hazel, an average citizen, does not go through the same torture (Vonnegut, n.p). The author best describes the scenario of a society that strives to achieve equality but in doing so tortures its citizens.

Works Cited

Vonnegut, Kurt. “Harrison Bergeron.”



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