Harrison Bergeron: Life Without Freedom and Equality

977 Words4 Pages
What would happen to the world if the people were literally equal in every aspect of their lives? In Kurt Vonnegut's short story, "Harrison Bergeron," the world is finally living up to America's first amendment of everyone being created equal. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. In this society, the gifted, strong, and beautiful are required to wear handicaps of earphones, heavy weights, and hideous masks, respectively. For others, who do not receive these punishments, the handicaps may seem appropriate; to keep the playing field level. With the world constantly pushing for equality among people, Vonnegut reveals a world that society is diligently working toward. Through this foreshadowing of the future, Vonnegut attempts to use Diana Moon Gampers and Harrison Bergeron as mechanism to reveal and warn of the dangers of the two extremes, too equal or too unjust. In the beginning of the story, the reader is given a picture of the world that Diana Moon Glampers watches upon. The theme of the story is about individual freedom. The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They were not only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. All this equality was due to the Amendments to the constitution, and vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General (Vonnegut 8). Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, symbolically portrays the idea of fairness in a society. She is the one in charge of lowering the capacity of a bright and intelligent person to the level of a normal and unaware being. Equality is a great idea that the world should extend and embrace; however, absolute equality is another issue in which to much of a good thing may cause matters to go wrong. In a world of absolute equality, each human being would never be looked upon as anything more or less than the person beside him or her. Unforetunately, this advantage

More about Harrison Bergeron: Life Without Freedom and Equality

Open Document