Harrison Bergeron Analysis

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Harrison Bergeron Essay Like "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonnegut’s vision of a perfectly equal society doesn’t seem to be a dystopia at first. The narrative voice in “Harrison Bergeron” presents the idea that being “equal every which way” is desirable. Vonnegut is surreptitiously winking at his reader, saying, “Yes, I’m serious about what I’m saying. I’m just not saying it seriously.” His next wink will be his main couple, George and Hazel Bergeron. George Bergeron is very intelligent, while Hazel evokes a Dumb Dora act, clearest in the final lines of the short story: “Gee—I could tell that one was a doozy,” said Hazel. “You can say that again,” said George. “Gee—” said Hazel, “I could tell that one was a doozy.” Both Bergerons are seated in their living room, watching television: George with a “little mental handicap radio in his ear” to keep him from utilizing his exceptional intelligence, and Hazel without any handicap whatsoever, since she has “a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts.” They are watching a ballet featuring dancers “burdened with sash weights and bags of birdshot,” their faces masked to hide their beauty. This is the price of a perfectly equal society, says Vonnegut with a satirical smile. Strong? We’ll give you burdens. Smart? We’ll give you headaches. Pretty? We’ll hide your face. Stupid? You’re perfect. Vonnegut mixes this biting satire with hyperbolized action and elements of setting to underscore how ridiculous the whole idea is. When Harrison finally stomps into the story, his appearance is “Halloween and hardware”: a seven-foot teen encumbered by numerous handicaps. He takes over the television studio, proclaims himself the “Emperor,” orders the musicians to play well, and proceeds to dance with a “blindingly beautiful” ballerina, and

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