Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut - Essay Example

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The US society being described in the first paragraph is one in which no freedom and liberty abounds; everything has been sacrificed at the altar of equality. Since the authorities wanted everyone to be the same, they decided to go for the least common denominator; that is,…
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Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut
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Download file to see previous pages It appears that in a world where no superficial handicaps were added, Hazel would have had less-than-average intelligence, which was the reference point for other people’s abilities in the current world. She cannot think about things for long periods of time and seems to lack any ambitions concerning her future; therefore, she is not a threat to the powers that be. They do not have to worry about her because her mental abilities would not be a potential threat to the status quo as seen through her assertions. On the bottom paragraph of page 1, Hazel talks about how envious she is of her husband who gets to hear all this different sounds, and even suggests that she would have used chimes on Sunday to respect religion. Such sentiments would only come from a person whose mental abilities are highly wanting; she even confessed that she has no idea what normal means.
George is highly burdened by his handicaps because they cause severe exhaustion and unusual vigilance on his part; if he lets go of these handicaps or even lightens the load, he might face the possibility of imprisonment or huge monetary fines. In an effort to make everyone mentally equal, the authorities have had to impose undue burden on the physical aspects of average and above average intelligent people. George has to carry the handicaps everywhere he goes even when he wants to sleep, yet people like Hazel bear no such burden. In essence, true equality has not been achieved because one segment of society; that is, the majority, has to live life with heavy loads, constant surveillance and intrusive noises while another section does not.
The author describes Harrison as something akin to the god “Thor”; he is physical fit, tall and quite handsome; one can deduce this from the excess handicaps placed on him as well as the other artificial deformities that disguise his physical ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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