A summary of "harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut

Essay by SNOldak924Junior High, 8th grade February 2003

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"Harrison Bergeron," a short story by Kurt Vonnegut, details how the future could look for out country. With the 211th, 212th, and 213th amendments, handicaps were required for all citizens above the "normal" level of strength, intelligence, or other gifts. For many people, this can be viewed as an inappropriate tax on the able. For others, who do not receive these punishments, the handicaps may seem appropriate; to keep the playing field level, and make sure that no one cheats in the game of life.

In many cases, this could be seen as dictatorship over the American people. Although, from a different angle, the story can be related to the time period in which it was written. At the time, there were many things to discriminate about, which angered people. The author was probably trying to convey the feeling of true equality, in which people no longer have the choice to differentiate between others, rather, it is so hard to see differences, and no one cares about a talent, because it would be handicapped.

If everyone was different, many details in the story would be different. As witnessed throughout the story, Harrison's abilities present a danger to the current society. Today, in our society, abilities like Harrison's present a clear advantage for most people. Today, some measures are taken, but in the opposite direction. As time progresses, things will change, but I think that our 2081 will be very different from the imagined world of Vonnegut.