Humor And Science Fiction By Kurt Vonnegut

1298 Words Mar 31st, 2016 6 Pages
Kurt Vonnegut was a very popular American writer. He wrote novels and short-stories filled with humor and science-fiction. His writing has become so iconic mainly due to his rule breaking literary innovation and the serious moral vision and cutting social commentary incorporated in his writing.
One of the most recurring themes discussed by Vonnegut in his work is individuality. He constantly highlights the importance of individuality in an ironic way; by displaying the negative repercussions of an extreme social equality. In this paper I will analyze the topic of individuality in some of Vonnegut’s acclaimed short stories.
The first story is “Harrison Bergeron”, which is probably the most famous of his stories regarding individuality. In the story, the government suppresses all creativity and talent by using handicapping materials. The citizens are forced to wear either a headset that prevent them from thinking too long with a constant high-pitched noise for the smarter people, or metal shrapnel to disabilitate those who are strong,or masks to hide particularly attractive people. This makes the entire society equal, no one stronger, smarter, or prettier than the other. This government interference limits the power of the individual. The government does this with the good intention of protecting the self-esteem of less talented, intelligent, or attractive people so that the will not be threatened or hurt by those who exceed them. However, upon achieving this maximum…
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