Essay

Harrison Bergeron

"The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else … All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of the agents of the United States Handicapper General" (198). In this story, Vonnegut vividly shows how dull a world would be in which everyone was exactly alike.Smart people have buzzers in their ears; talented dancers are weighed down with cement bags; and on and on.In short, everyone is treated special so that everyone can be ensured the same probability of success. Ensuring "equal probability of success" requires people to be held away from their own strength of intelligence.In the short story "Harrison Bergeron," I identify the theme to be the importance of individuality, and a need for individual difference for fear of losing our humanity when today equality for all is an issue.

In many aspects, equality must be striven for.People have always been different and will always tend to remain that way. Individualism marks the differences between.But I believe Kurt Vonnegut tries to warn us about the dangers of equality and uniformity. We can lose our humanity and individuality if we strive for too much equality and become a society like that presented in “Harrison Bergeron.”Hazel says to George, “I’d think it would be real interesting, hearing all the different sounds…all the things they think up.”(199)Here it’s still showing how.