Throughout the history of humankind, inequality has always played a key role in shaping the world. Prejudice has placed certain people at a higher status than others. Due to discrimination, those who are different will suffer the consequences of social inequality. This scenario can be seen throughout the world, from politics to a nation’s justice system. Those who are at a disadvantage, such as living in poverty, being lonely, and having mentally or physically challenges, will succumb to the harassment of social inequality. This is taught in modern age classics such as John Steinbeck’s novel, Of Mice and Men, Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Zara Neale Hurston’s short story, “Sweat.” Powerful symbols and memorable plots portray
Kurt Vonnegut’s unique story “Harrison Bergeron,” displays a theme which is a warning about the dangers of equality, which is equality is a hindrance to an individual’s success and society’s success, but this hindrance is ironically, unequal. In the story, Harrison and his bride are arrested for their unwillingness and inability to stay within the bounds of equality enforced by the Handicapper General. Equality hinders the success of an individual like the weights hinder the beauty and grace of the ballerinas in the story. Equality doesn’t promote everyone to be equally better, but to be unequally worse. Handicaps are no use in ensuring equality, because one’s strengths will always shine through, such as Harrison’s strength and wit, or the
In our Society, we deal with many form of oppression in our daily lives. Unfortunately, different groups of people are more oppressed than others. Oppression is the unjust treatment of a group of people. I believe, our government is a major culprit as they are responsible for oppressing most of society. This involves many groups, such as single mothers, the working class, African Americans, gays and lesbians. In my paper, my personal views will be addressed incorporating ideas from several readings pertaining to different forms of oppression. A summarization of each article will be provided as well.
The subject of “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut is equality. The theme of this short story is that society should make an effort to value individuality and fairness, in which everyone receives what they need to prosper, instead of universal equality. The forms used to elevate this subject and theme are point of view, syntax, characterization, irony, and humor.
Kurt Vonnegut published “Harrison Bergeron” to express his thoughts of what a world with equality might look like. The setting of this takes place in front of a TV to emphasis how much is it looked to for answers. The government wants everyone the same and will go to any means necessary. In the constitution, “all men are created equal” can be found, and this short story explores the ideas of when that sentence is taken too literal. In “Harrison Bergeron,” Vonnegut paints his readers a picture illustrating the dangers of conforming three different individuals, Hazel, George, and Harrison, to the same level of expectation through the power of government control and television.
As a tool for social commentary, oftentimes a writer will employ the use of a biting satire. Through precise writing and exaggerated concepts, Kurt Vonnegut is clearly a skilled user of satirical storytelling. As one of the most famous and widely read short literary tales of all time, Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron is certainly his best example in this genre. In Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut proposes that true equality is not an ideal worth striving for, as many people believe, but a mistaken goal that is dangerous in both implementation and consequence. To achieve physical and mental equality amongst all Americans, the government in Vonnegut's short story subjects its citizens to “handicapping” through the use of crude means, such as canvas sacks of lead balls worn to impede physical ability, or more sophisticated technology, like the miniature radio used to mentally incapacitate the intellectually adept. This has rendered the dystopian future presented both bland and uneventful through its enforcement of equality for all. Vonnegut expertly engineers his story to capture the essence of an utterly broken and depressing future. Calibrating the specific aspects of literature, Vonnegut is attune with the exact parameters he so desires for his tale. Like a true master of his craft, Vonnegut in Harrison Bergeron welds together poignant imagery, vague setting, rich symbolism, and a detached tone to build a stunning tour de force of American literature.
Vonnegut's story “Harrison Bergeron” discusses the theme equality of results, but through his satirical circumstances there is an ambiguous theme targeting Socialism and Capitalism that shines through.
“Still I Rise”, written by African-American writer Maya Angelou, includes a character who rises “Up from a past that’s rooted in pain.” No matter what words are said against her, lies are told about her, threats are made towards her, or words are written against her, she takes the past and uses it to fuel her confidence. The way she writes creates a deep sense of pride and feeling, while giving the poem life and helping the audience realise that they, too can rise. The diction, literary devices, and theme help the speaker portray her feelings about the topic of oppression in her experience.
Power, whether assumed or delegated is significant in the achievement of productive functionality in societies. As prevalent through history and culture, it becomes the vice of oppression and tyranny through the abuse of power by those who hold it. The freedom of the vulnerable become slaves of inequality in unjust societies. George Orwell’s allegorical novella, Animal Farm and Langston Hughes’ provocative poem “Let America be America Again” effectively explore equality and freedom as nothing but a fallacy due to the narcissism and avarice in societies.
Throughout this last semester the units we have been learning have all show the use of power against innocent people. This power either ruins these people's lives or ends them. The best representation of this power are in the two poems Trumpet Player and Song for a Dark Girl by Langston Hughes. Two stories were also fantastic examples of this power, The Crucible By Arthur Miller and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. All though theses are three different types of writers, they have very similar messages in different forms.
The aim of this essay is to address the problem of inequality and oppression through three separate texts, The Second Sex, The Death of the Profane and Killing Rage. The Second Sex focuses on the woman and her role compared to man. The Death of the Profane and Killing Rage are both texts that describe experiences about the constant racism felt by blacks. To thoroughly examine these texts and how they are related to oppression and inequality it is important to first define what each mean. Oppression and inequality each have different definitions but they go hand in hand. Oppression is the state of being subject to prolonged unjust treatment. While inequality is defined as lacking equality, equality is the state of being equal especially in status,
An analysis of Gloria Anzaldúa‘s The New Mestiza and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time reveals that humans oppress themselves based on their differences. This is turn prevents them from identifying themselves as part of the human race. In his writings, Baldwin offers a solution to this hurdle that targets the apparent causes of the problem. However, Andalzua’s analysis of human difference reveals a few flaws in Baldwin’s view of the problem as well as his proposed solution to putting an end to human misery and oppression. Andalzua does so by examining Baldwin’s view of power, his view of love as a solution, and his view of the behavior of those who had been oppressive.
There has been a drastic change in the way we perceive the world and this can alter the way we see each other. We tend to jump onto a bandwagon because it seems easiest or because of one personal scenario. This is one of the main causes for prejudice and injustice. How a person reacts to being oppressed may bring out another side of them, but this side is their true self. This reaction speaks of his or her morals, ethics, and values. To these people, all the perpetrators appear the same, but it is known that while some may easily go along with it, some may choose to stand above it all. The concepts referenced to earlier will be soon elaborated on in further analysis as this essay goes on.
One major link includes the fight between an oppressed group and their persecutors. Whether it’s the proletariat and the bourgeois in “The Communist Manifesto,” or the inequality of genders in “The Second Sex,” or the flight of the African Americans in the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. In all of these texts we are shown how easy it is for one group to abuse their power and create unfair rules and regulations only imposed on the more inferior members of society. Each group of oppressor thrives off of alienating, and subjugating their inferiors.