Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Write a literary analysis of “harrison bergeron”

Include a minimum of two quotes in each body paragraph as supporting evidence.

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In his short story Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut expresses through plot and theme a high-tech dystopian society where intellectual ability, creativity, freedom of thought, fortitude and physical beauty have been manipulated by government decree and through coercive and pervasive technology. The author begins the anecdote with a descriptive Orwellian narrative regarding social equality in the future “They weren’t only equal before God and the Law. They were equal in every which way.”(Vonnegut, 1961, N. p). 

Regarding symbolism, Vonnegut evinces the authority that is responsible for enforcing equality as the “United States Handicapper General.” The term handicap is apowerful metaphor that expresses the characters in the tale. The point that Vonnegut is putting across by using the word handicap is that the notion of social equality has achieved a convoluted and extreme level, so much so that the individuals in the dystopian world are rendered handicapped should they possess unique intellectual and physical abilities or superior genetic traits. It is interesting to note how Vonnegut has intuitivelyinverted the real concept of how the contemporary world usually assigns special treatment to the physically challenged people. His opinion is that the idea of equality can as well be detrimental in the future and have devastating impacts on the characters in the anecdote. Vonnegut’s sociopolitical view in the story brings into light the United States Constitution and the accompanying amendments aimed at fostering equality. For a highly regarded and powerfullegislation tasked with following decorum and the principles of equality, the state has overstepped its authority and violated the clear line between private and public existence. The suppressive and excessive use of power, let alone overstepping of boundaries of bodies tasked with maintaining peace, security and justice such as the U.S. Justice Department and the F.B.I are but examples of the oppressive and unjust future forces that Vonnegut warns the people in the story. He believes that the people are in danger of future technological dictatorship that ensues from the disguised but successful deceitof the American citizens to espouse and abstract perspective of equality…

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