H Arrison Bergeron Essay

1351 words - 6 pages

“The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal” (Vonnegut). Throughout the world of “Harrison Bergeron” by Vonnegut, everyone is equal. Everything is controlled by the state or the “United States Handicapper General” (Vonnegut). The people of the world are not allowed to have any personality that makes them different from the next person in their controlled society. Vonnegut’s use of diction is noteworthy due to the fact that everyone is supposed to finally be equal. There is not one soul in the entire world that is equal or the same within; people are born with all types of different personalities and physical features. In that case, the first words noticed are handicap, heavier, and ...view middle of the document...

“Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else” (Vonnegut). For example, George Bergeron intelligence was way above normal, so he had to wear a little handicap radio in his ear. The radio would send harsh noises through his ear, which would disrupt his thoughts and completely confuse him. A noise goes off in George’s ear every 20 seconds or so, rejecting him from thinking regularly, therefore, making him and equal to the rest of the society. He also had to wear forty-seven pounds of birdshot in a canvas bag, which was padlocked around his neck. That was to make him less athletic and physically capable than others. Not only was creative thinking an offense; being and sounding beautiful had been just as much of a crime within their society. The metaphors in the passage symbolize the prison that the world has placed on the people of this new society. Metaphor such as, “The rest of Harrison’s appearance was Halloween and hardware” and “Harrison looked like a walking junkyard”, are significant because they display the cruelty done to the different. No one is above the law and can be put in their place. The order that the metaphors appear is to provide more detail to the appearances of those constricted. The Halloween and hardware appearance puts the readers in mind of a prisoner because that is the uniform color of prisoners who are also chained up as shown in movies and life. That is ironic because usually people go to prison for making dumb decisions, but in Harrison’s case, he went for a noble decision.
In difference, the defiant Harrison Bergeron is against the severe laws of the state. Harrison even begins to take a stand against the government, declaring himself the “Emperor” and removing all of his handicaps (Vonnegut). The government fears Harrison and his intelligence because he will not abide by their rules and wants to show the world that anyone should be allowed to be themselves. The passage makes the readers think that Harrison himself is a leader and on that is willing to die to prove a point. Certain events within the narrative prove that. For instance, he breaks out of jail to interrupt everyone to stand up against the government. Harrison was viewed a very intelligent person throughout the story, so he had to know that without a lot of security to protect him from the government, that they would eventually come and erase him from their minds. In addition, the author wanted the audience to view him the same way because physical features used to describe Harrison. Vonnegut chose to state that Harrison was seven feet tall so that the readers could view him as a dominant human being, similar to being the alpha in a wolf pack. He is viewed as a cancer to his society since he is relentless in plotting to overthrow the current government. Therefore, Harrison is heavily handicapped to contain his unruliness. Rather than a little ear radio for a mental...

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