Harrison Bergeron Essay, Research Paper
Minor Literary Analysis Essay
On The Short Story “Harrison Bergeron”
In the short story “Harrison Bergeron”, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. reveals to us that a society created to equalize humanity does not always turn out to be the best for the people. Vonnegut effectively uses irony, symbolism, and point of view to express his theme that even though the people resemble equality, they are not free.
Although the society portrays the people as equals, the people are stripped of their natural abilities and held prisoner to the government. Weighing a certain number of pounds enables the government to force you to wear uncomfortable lead balls around your neck. Which actually reveals how strong these characters really are. If your intelligence is above average, a radio is set in your ear that monitors your thoughts. Who would be able to live in a society that prevents your actions? It is the irony that with these restrictions, Hazel and George did not even know that their own son was murdered.
Harrison wanted to be free, free of the burden set by the government. He wanted to be “Emperor”, not to rule the people, but to set them free. If he wanted to rule, why did he strip away the handicaps of the musicians and offer to make them “barons and dukes and earls?” The symbolism of the dance between Harrison and the ballerina meant freedom. They danced the way they wanted to, with no boundaries.
There will never be a society where everyone is equal. You will need leaders to enforce rules. Diana Moon Glampers enforces her authority and murders Harrison and the ballerina? She is afraid that she will lose her power over the people. This proves that not everyone is equal, no matter how many handicaps imprison the body.
Hazel cares deeply for her husband, she wants him to feel free of the “forty-seven pounds of birdshot” around his neck. She does not understand why her husband has to wear his handicap bag since he does not compete with anybody at home. All she wants is for him to be happy. She does not care if they are equal or not.
In a society where everyone is equal will never work out. Someone will always enforce the rules. The people may be equal, but they are slaves to the government. There is always someone higher than them. Hazel and George will never know what truly happened to their son. Harrison and the ballerina are free, but won’t be able to free the other people. The Handicapper General will always rule.