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Analysis of the Kurt Vonnegut and Margaret Atwoods stories - Essay Example

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More often than not, we repeat words and concepts without really considering what they mean to us. Hence, we declare our undying commitment to freedom and equality, even as we devote our lives to fulfilling our, often, materialistic ambitions. Few realize that their devotion to the accumulation of material goods and wealth effectively means that they have surrendered their freedom to their dreams…
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Analysis of the Kurt Vonnegut and Margaret Atwoods stories
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More often than not, we repeat words and concepts without really considering what they mean to us. Hence, we declare our undying commitment to freedom and equality, even as we devote our lives to fulfilling our, often, materialistic ambitions. Few realize that their devotion to the accumulation of material goods and wealth effectively means that they have surrendered their freedom to their dreams. At the same time, very few consider that as they strive to reach the top and be the best that they can be, they are striving towards inequality. Quite simply stated, their being better implies that others are unequal to them. The power of both Kurt Vonnegut and Margaret Atwood's stories lie in the fact that they compel readers to think about all these concepts.
Although many of us uphold equality as an undeniable human right, the majority have their own subjective idea of what equality means. Prior to reading Vonnegut's story, I believed that I supported equality as a principle but never considered what type of equality I believed in. Following my reading, I discovered that I believed in equality before the law and equality of opportunity but, definitely do not support economic equality and equality of capacities. Economic equality entails denying people their right to succeed, just as equality of capacities ensures that people cannot strive to become all that they can be. Accordingly, I cannot support absolute equality although I most definitely do believe in the fundamental equality of all before the law.
The equality to which I am committed is an equality of opportunity as would allow people to fulfill their ambitions and realize their potentials. As I am writing this, however, I cannot help but think of Atwood's story and the simple and absolute truth it conveys. That truth is that in the end, we are all going to die. Death will make us all absolutely equal and that, in itself, leads one to wonder why we spend such a great part of our lives studying, working and doing what we can to succeed. Possibly, we do so in order to give our lives meaning.
As a final word, I would like to say that these two stories force a person to look deep into himself/herself and consider their attitudes towards, and beliefs about life. I personally learnt about myself by reading these two stories. Most importantly, I learnt that regretting the loss of material goods is a waste of time as, in the end, we all die and become equal. Of equal importance, I discovered that I do not believe in absolute equality. Read More
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