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In what ways does Harrison Bergeron by Vonnegut and the ones who walk away from the omelasLeGuin does dystopian works - Coursework Example

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In what ways does Harrison Bergeron by Vonnegut and the ones who walk away from the omelasLeGuin does dystopian works
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Lecturer Essay # Dystopian works A dystopia is generally defined as an idea of a society with a speculative future that is characterized by societal controls and a perfect society. These controls and perfection in society are maintained by the use of various forms of controls, including bureaucratic, moral and technological controls (Dunder, 10). In this type of society, no citizen has the power to change the system or government but has to simply comply with it for fear of punishment or some other consequences (Dunder, 12). Elements such as propaganda, surveillance, uniform expectations, information restrictions and dehumanization are some of the major characteristics of a dystopian society.
Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula Le Guin are two examples of dystopian works. In both these stories, the authors give descriptions of futuristic societies that are majorly characterized by the concepts of perfection and equality. In Harrison Bergeron for instance, the author describes a futuristic society of 2081 in which the government has put controls in place to enhance equality in the society. In this society, no one is supposed to have an advantage over the other. Similarly, in The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, the story describes the peace, happiness and abundance enjoyed by the people of the city of Omelas, and the cots the society has to pay to enjoy these fortunes. In both stories, elements of dystopian societies are evident.
In the story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, the concept of a dystopian society is well brought out by the author’s description of the child that lives in a room with one door and no window. According to the author, the child has been neglected, and as a result, he may have become an imbecile due to poor nutrition and neglect. The people of Omela know that this child is suffering in the tiny room, and even some of them have come to see the child. However, they know that the child has to be there because all the things they enjoy- happiness, friendships, health of their children, good harvest- all depend on the child’s suffering. This is what is usually told to children whenever they get to the age of understanding. This is a clear illustration of a dystopian society in which propaganda is used to manipulate the people. In dystopian society, propaganda is used to control the citizens, just is the case in Omela. In addition, the author shows that even those who sympathize with the child are afraid to do anything or leave the city. This is also an illustration of a dystopian society where citizens generally fear the outside world. Therefore, the dirty secret of the suffering child kept by the people of Omela is used to control and manipulate the society, making it a dystopian.
In Harrison Bergeron, the citizens not only live a dehumanized state but are also denied information, freedom and independent of thought. For example, the description of Harrison’s appearance best shows how this is a dystopian society. He was forced to wear handicaps including a pair of earphones, spectacles and scrap metal around his neck. All these were done in order to make him equal to the rest because he was perceived to be very intelligent. Harrison, like most other citizens, is controlled by the government, and had his freedoms are restricted.
Works Cited
Dunder, Hayri. ‘ Dystopia as a vital peek into the future ’ 2013. Web < www.diva- portal.org/smash/get/diva2:632817/FULLTEXT01.pdf > 19 Apr. 2015.
Le Guin, Ursula. ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.’ From The Winds Twelve Quarters: Short Stories New York: Harper & Row, 1975.
Vonnegut, Kurt. Harrison Bergeron. Tnellen.com. N.p., 1961. Web < http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html >. 19 Apr. 2015. Read More
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