Literary Analysis Of Harrison Bergeron, By Kurt Vonnegut

838 WordsNov 9, 20174 Pages
“Harrison Bergeron” is a dystopian short story written by Kurt Vonnegut.Jr. in 1961. In the story, Vonnegut writes about a society where the government makes sure that everyone is mentally, physically, and socially equal. In other words, Everyone has equal wealth, equal intelligence, and equal level of attractiveness. Nobody can be smarter, better-looking, stronger, or richer than anybody else. On the surface, this might seem like a perfect place to live - until you start to wonder how the government would actually accomplish this monumental task. The story took place in America in 2081, during a time when the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments had been added to the constitution in order to make sure that everyone is equal in each way.…show more content…
In the quote, the uglier the mask, the more beautiful the person is. If the true purpose of the mask is to make people equal and not feel bad, then the mask would have to prevent people from knowing how beautiful a person is. A main symbol in the story is Harrison Bergeron, son of Hazel and George. He is a fourteen years old boy with highly intelligent. According to the description of Harrison, he is also strong and good looking. Due to his perfectness, he is handicapped to make him “equal” to other members of the society. The description of Harrison is very symbolic. The narrator states, “... instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphone… the spectacles were intended to make him not only half blind, but to give him whanging headaches besides… and to offset his good looks, the [government] required that he wear at all times a red rubber ball for a nose, keep his eyebrows shaved off, and cover his even white teeth with black caps at snaggle-tooth random” (Vonnegut 4). The fact that Harrison is handicapped is symbolic because it proves that true equality is impossible to achieve. Having gifted people handicapped does not make everyone equal. Instead, people with average abilities have the advantage since they do not need to be handicapped. The gifted people are punished. The better a person is, the more punishment the person need to have. Harrison being handicapped shows that the society is
Open Document