One of my best stories is Harrison Bergeron. The fictitious short story is written by Kurt Vonnegut and was initially published in 1961. The whole story is comical, but one cannot tell whether to laugh at it or not. Harrison is portrayed as a calm guy who can afford anything absurd with a serious and straight face. The story derives its title from its central character, who attempts to transform the society he lives in but fails. While the title may not significantly tell the story, it is interesting. The two names are symmetrical in that they have nine letters, three syllables, and end in –on. People like symmetry which appears to be cool. Most see equality as a sign of perfection and beauty, which, in the story, are things hated in Harrison’s society.
The plot of the story revolves around America in the year 2081. In the story, this nation is likely to have more rules and regulations than in the current days. The central idea depicted by the story is that there should be equal rights. However, attributes such as intelligence, strength, and beauty should vary among people since that is what brings about uniqueness in people. Governments are on the spot since, in the story, a strict regime comes to power, forcing people to hide their talents to appear as “equal” to others. The story goes ahead and explains the various problems that arise along with such forced equality. However, some people begin noting this form of balance is a façade and are not impressed since it oppresses people more.
I chose the story not only because of its hilarious narrations and flow of events but also because of its significant role in fighting for and enlightening on the importance of equality in society. While there could be discrimination and prejudice in the community, this story is a good read on the importance and necessity of equality and respect for one’s rights. The symmetry in the title is also impressive as it goes with the central theme of the story; equality.
Vonnegut, Kurt. harrison Bergeron. Mercury Press, 1962.