Irony Analyzation for Harrison Bergeron

500 Words2 Pages
The Disdain of Total Equality Total equality may seem fair and justifiable in the eyes of some people, but in many cases it turns out to be little more than a form of oppression, in which a group of people limit the abilities of others. Throughout the story Vonnegut speaks of this necessity for equality and the means that the government goes to achieve it by using devices called ‘handicaps’; one example of this is George’s earpiece, “A buzzer sounded in George’s head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.” Vonnegut’s simile here creates a sort of loud diction, which expresses the sheer discomfort invoked by these restraints on the person wearing them. The governing body in this society views this as the solution to a problem, one that happens to be relatively impossible to solve, this is how Vonnegut incorporates satire into his story. He is poking fun at the age old concept of ‘equality,’ one that has inspired wars and movements alike; he accomplishes this by creating a system to make everyone equal, a system that happens to be just as stupid as the idea of ‘total equality.’ Under this system equality is achieved, but it is at the cost of individual freedom and a society full of stupid people, this in-turn creates the situational irony found in the story. The plot of the story itself is a piece of situational irony, however there are many other instances found throughout it, including verbal irony. One specific example of this is when Hazel and George are talking, Vonnegut writes “ ‘I think I’d make a good Handicapper General. (Hazel)’ ‘Good as anybody else,’ said George.” His response to Hazel’s comment is slightly sarcastic, but also ironic, in that she really would be “as good anybody else” because in their society everyone is just as good or bad as everybody else. Another example of this false sense of equality is when George says,
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