Satire In Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron

670 Words3 Pages
"Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut uses a form of dark satire in order to show strong criticism of both political and social standards in America. He shows that The political system in Vonnegut's story seems to be a much exaggerated form of thought known as egalitarianism, which is also known as equalitarianism. Those who believe in egalitarianism think that all people should be equal, though the actual belief does not take it anywhere as far as the government in Vonnegut's story does. The political system is also very similar to the 'perfect' form of communism. Equality is a very important concept to those in America, with the phrase "All men are created equal" having been repeated many times, especially in the past few decades. This story…show more content…
Harrison is shown as superhuman, with the ability to snap metal like it was wood, and defying gravity. He personifies everything that the Handicapper-General is against, and they try their hardest to make him less than he is, by weighing him down more than anyone else, shaving his eyebrows off, and making him wear an incredibly ugly mask with a red clown nose to hide his handsome features.The news announcer reports that Harrison is “a genius and an athlete” as well as being dangerous and yet he lacks the ability to predict the most instinctive of reactions from the handicapping government, specifically its violent course of action. And Hazel is said to be of average intelligence but is actually a borderline cretin, constantly suffering from immediate memory loss. This is humorous because the only people without distracting radios in their heads, people of “average” intelligence, are those that most likely are sincerely mentally handicapped. With the handicapper general wanting to make everyone “equal not only before God and the law but equalin every which way,” the handicaps must be set to lower everyone in the population to the lowest point, because in this story, there is no way to increase people’s abilities, only to lower and cripple
Open Document