The Dangers of Government Control in Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut's short story, Harrison Bergeron, features the dangers of government control combined with individuals' obliviousness. Vonnegut proceeds to foresee the aftereffects of such a move. The most striking topic is that of absence of opportunity in American culture. Vonnegut likewise explains how loss of social equality is getting with Americans. What is the consequence of all these? There is a high likelihood that America will wind up in an oppressed world. In outline, Vonnegut discusses how loss of opportunity and social liberties would prompt America's oppressed world.

As previously mentioned, Americans love opportunity and this is confirmed by Harrison's activities; he escapes from jail, proceeds to expel his debilitations, and lastly attempts to impact everyone around him. 'Why don't you stretch out on the sofa, so that you can rest your handicap bag…?" (Vonnegut, P. 216).

The administration affixed this impairment sack around George's neck; in any case, Harrison is advising George to 'rest' it, as an indication of resistance and push for opportunity.

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All things considered, in Harrison's reality, this opportunity is no more, and individuals can't settle on decisions since they are better than expected in all things and thus, they are crippled. For example, the individuals are masked to guarantee that "nobody would feel like something the cat drug in" (Vonnegut, P. 216).

Everybody is equivalent due to "the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution…the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General" (Vonnegut, P. 218). The 'Handicapper General' guarantees everybody is equivalent and the individual has no privilege including right to life.

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George says, "Two years in prison and two thousand dollars fine for every ball I took out" (Vonnegut, P. 216).

George here discusses the outcomes of removing the 'handicap' that the legislature has put around his neck, proof of loss of social liberties. George even watches a girl on television, and he can't focus on the television.

This goes well with "the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General" (Vonnegut, P. 216). Despite the fact that loss of opportunity in contemporary America isn't as terrible as in Harrison's general public, American specialists are gradually removing opportunity. For example, smoking guidelines put open spots is a move of its sort. To this one may say some things about living still aren't quite right.

In conclusion, Vonnegut attempts to feature how government control would gradually change over America into an oppressed world country. Notwithstanding the affection that Americans have for opportunity, Vonnegut is worried about the possibility that this is being removed and individuals will have, "a little mental handicap radio in their ears tuned to a government transmitter" (Vonnegut, p. 218). This would remove opportunity and social liberties would languish a similar destiny over the individuals who go against the set mandates.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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The Dangers of Government Control in Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut. (2024, Feb 02). Retrieved from

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