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Harrison Bergeron: Plot Overview

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 4 (927 words)
Categories: Character, Character Traits, Short Story
Downloads: 24
Views: 2

In 2081 all of society is forced to be equal. In Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s short story Harrison Bergeron everyone is assigned handicaps that make them equal to everyone else. These handicaps included wearing weights around the neck wearing a mask to cover beauty and having a device in the ear so thinking could not be overdone. Nobody was smarter than anyone else nobody was better looking than anyone else nobody was stronger or quicker than anyone else.

All this equality was due to the 211th 212th and 213th amendments that were added to the Constitution. Harrison Bergeron is a valid representation of the potential control of a government and the repercussions a society could face if every individual were forced to be identical. The short story is based on three characters Hazel, George, and Harrison Bergeron. George was forced to wear a device in his ear that prevented him from thinking too much since his intelligence level was above normal.

Hazel on the other hand had a perfectly average intelligence which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts. Harrison was their son that was captured at the age of fourteen by the H-G government.

Harrison was athletic and handsome. His handicaps included wearing headphones instead of earpiece spectacles that nearly made him blind and about three hundred pounds of metal. To offset his good looks he was forced to wear a red nose shave off his eyebrows and to cover his white teeth with black caps. Hazel and George were watching television when the news came on about Harrison Bergeron escaping from prison. The newscast told those watching that this man was extremely dangerous and flashed pictures of him up on the screen. George realized that it must be Harrison but the realization was quickly taken from his mind when the sound of a collision went off in his head. After George opened his eyes the picture of Harrison was gone but he was actually shown on television yelling I am the Emperor! Because of Harrison’s great strength and tall features everyone was cowering down to him except one ballerina that stood up to be his empress. Harrison had ripped off all his handicaps and the handicaps from the empress and the musicians. Harrison and his empress were dancing to the music that he forced the musicians to play when Diana Moon Glampers the handicapper general came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor. Shortly after the Bergeron television had gone off. George leaves to get a beer and upon his return, he sees that Hazel has been crying.

George asks her why she has been crying but because she can only think in short burst she can’t remember why the tears were coming. Because of George and Hazel handicaps, they could not remember that Harrison was their son that had just been killed on the television. Due to everyone being forced to be equal to one other the government made the people become stupid slow and even obeying the law because of fear of punishment. Harrison knew he was good looking athletic and smart. When Harrison escaped from prison and disobeyed the law it would be easier for him to rule over others because everyone else was still chained to the law. With his great strength and rebellion, he became an Emperor for a short time. Foreshadowing was shown when Hazel and George talked about taking some weight off of George’s neck. George explains to Hazel that if he tried to get away with it then other people get away with it-and pretty soon we be right back to the dark ages again with everybody competing against everyone else. George asks Hazel what she thinks would happen to the society Hazel replies Reckon it fall all apart.

The government knew that if people listened to Harrison that everyone would start disobeying the law so they got rid of him. They could have also shot him because they got scared of what they could not control. By showing the killing on television it showed the society what will happen if they start rebelling. A sedated society of which is handicapped is much easier to control. I believe Harrison Bergeron shows what exactly it would be like for everyone to be equal. It also effectively represents the kind of control that a government would have over society. If the government gives everyone equality and makes them weak it gives the government way more power than what they already have.

At some point in time, everyone has the thought of an equal society but we do not think of what it would take for that to happen. Harrison Bergeron shows what the consequences would be. I believe the fact that everyone is unique should be more appreciated rather than wanting to be changed. If people were forced to be equal life would be the same for everyone and not as adventurous and fun. The problem with an equal society is that no one would be able to be themselves. In order for everyone to be equal, there would have to be some consequences for those who rebel against the law. Also, the handicaps would be necessary in order for everyone to be equal. This would give the government complete control over a society which could also cause problems. Harrison Bergeron is a vivid representation of the potential government could have on society and the dangers of an equal society.

Cite this essay

Harrison Bergeron: Plot Overview. (2020, Sep 11). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/harrison-bergeron-plot-overview-essay

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