Utopia And Dystopia In Harrison Bergeron And The Lottery

1479 words - 6 pages

Utopia and Dystopia are themes that explore the substantial extents of deceiving ascendancy and contrive an impelling illusion of a ‘perfect‘ society. Utopia is described as a place, state, or condition that is ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions while a dystopia, or a negative utopia, is a society characterized as an illusion of a perfect society maintained through oppressive societal control, in which exploits into an exaggerated worst-case scenario. The short stories, Harrison Bergeron, and The Lottery, are both literary examples imparted around a utopian society.
Harrison Bergeron, was written by Kurt Vonnegut in 1961. This story elucidates a dystopian society that is derived of its individuality and is expected to conform to authorities. The Lottery, is a short story written by Shirley Jackson that was published in June, 1948 and exerts a story that an impelling outlook on a seamlessly reticent and amicable society though is confounded by the deceptive idea of a utopia.
These literary examples of a dystopian and utopian narratives share many of the same characteristics. These include: the society is an allusion of a perfect world, citizens appear to be under constant surveillance, a figure head, or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society, and citizens have a fear of the outside world.
The characteristic, the society is an allusion of a perfect world, is a distinctive component in these dystopian narratives. In Harrison Bergeron, citizens are alluded to conform to consistent expectations and are derived of their individuality. They are subverted to pervade equality throughout the society by wearing handicaps. By conforming to this, the society perceives that they live in a “perfect world“, where everyone is equal and commensurable. The same characteristic is present in The Lottery, as it reflects on the substantially elusive secrets that are harboured in a “perfect” town. The society precludes that by subsequently committing a homicide perennially, they’re subverted to good will. For example, this quote implicates this when Old Man Warner discusses the eminence of the lottery,

Old Man Warner snorted. "Pack of crazy fools," he said.
"Listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them.
Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves,
nobody work any more, live that way for a while.
Used to be a saying about 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.'
First thing you know, we'd all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns.

Hence, they’re impeded under the allusion that by doing this they will continue to live in a perfect world.
Another characteristic that is impended in these dystopian societies is, citizens appear to be under constant surveillance. In Harrison Bergeron, the society lives within prominent constraining barriers and there is always a preeminent sense that they’re under persistent surveillance. As suggestively articulated in this...

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