Harrison Bergeron Kurt Vonnegut




Harrison Bergeron Kurt Vonnegut

In the short narrative, the nature of human conflict as regards equality for all is depicted in the struggle by the American government to enforce same literal right for its citizens. It is set in futuristic backdrop where the constitution states that every citizen is equal and there are no superior beings in terms of beauty, intelligence, physical strength or speed. These laws are enforced by a government official known as the Handicapper General and his team. The scenario created when the government, in an attempt to spread equality, incapacitates individuals with superior intelligence and physical attributes illustrates the effects that result from forced egalitarianism.

In the story, Harrison holds the opinion that total equality is not an ideology worth human conflict but a misconstrued goal that poses danger in implementation and results. The role played by the government in incapacitating its most intelligent and talented citizens is incriminating as it is portrayed as torturing its people. Beautiful individuals are forced to wear horrifying masks to draw away attention whereas the intelligent are forced to carry heavy radios around their necks disrupting their thoughts all day. The loud random noises prevent the intelligent from processing and remembering thoughts.

Forced equality in this futuristic America has detrimental effects on the country and its citizens. The nation is filled with people afraid to reveal their intelligence or talents to avoid punishment. The officials murder the brave and intelligent individuals without any remorse. This is illustrated when Harrison’s son is gunned down after his attempt to incite the ballerinas and musicians. Harrison is depicted as a very intelligent, handsome and physically strong individual. He is forced to wear handicaps to offset his attributes. He uses Harrison to elaborate that forced equality will be questioned by the oppressed handicapped and they will rise and rebel until it is abolished. Total equality is attained but at the expense of national progression and freedom of its citizens.


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