Harrison Bergeron

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“Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is a story literally exaggerated to its limit by showing, in the near future, what it means to be equal in every way by having people not being able to show any form of intelligence or creativity whatsoever. When Harrison Bergeron breaks the chains of government oppression, he dies for his failed cause. He dies because he chooses not to conform to the rest of his oppressive society. His parents, George and Hazel, who are nothing more than two bodies under the government’s mind control, can do nothing to save their son or seek justice for his death. The story is not only a reflection of the author’s concern with controlling the masses through…show more content…
Harrison is the perfect example of this kind of rebellion. Although he is only fourteen, “he is a genius and an athlete, is under-handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous” (141). Due to his abilities, he is in prison because he is a threat to society. Harrison is aware that a new society must emerge, and he breaks out of prison, removes his handicaps, and for just a moment, shows his individuality. In the government’s eyes, Harrison is a rebel, and rebels are people that have no place in society, and must die. Diana Moon Glampers, who is the Handicapper General and represents conformity, kills Harrison and his selected mate with whom he wanted to rule a more humane America. She then threatens everyone else with force in the television station with a shotgun by “aiming it at the musicians and told them they have ten seconds to get their handicaps back on” (143). Although Harrison’s actions take place, conformity and equality still rule. In an article in Contemporary American writers, it describes Harrison’s parents after the murder, “They resume their passive, acquiescent lives; having forgotten the entire scene almost as soon as they witnessed it” (2396). This dehumanization is the result of government oppression, as well as the physical punishment that awaits if anyone tries to be rebellious like Harrison Bergeron. No government is able to suppress the individual completely because of the desire of humans to be themselves
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