Harrison Bergeron: Novel Analysis

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“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows” (1984, pg. 81) This quote is saying that you can only truly be free when you are allowed to have the right to think and speak freely. Restriction of freedom is just one of the many characteristics of a dystopian society. A dystopia usually takes place in a futuristic, imaginary setting where oppressive societal control takes place and is an illusion of a perfect society. Dystopias are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Novels, short stories, and movies such as: 1984, “Harrison Bergeron”, and The Purge (2013) are just a few of the very popular dystopian genres. Each of the three pieces…show more content…
Each piece exhibits a different type of a dystopian control. In 1984 the government uses bureaucratic control in order to maintain society. Big Brother uses relentless regulations such as requiring each citizen to wear the same “…uniform blue overalls…” pg. 53 restricting their freedom of individuality. In “Harrison Bergeron”, the Handicapper General, Diana Moon Glampers, uses technological control through the “…mental handicap radio…” that is placed in each of the citizen’s ears. By requiring each citizen to wear the ear pieces the Handicapper General is using technology to monitor each person. In The Purge (2013) society is controlled through a combination of technology and a bureaucracy. In the film, each annual purge is monitored and video taped through street cameras and the bureaucracy is supported through citizens that “…remeber(ed) how bad it was…” by “…the poverty…” and “…all the crime…” The bureaucratic government manipulates its people though the fear of the annual holiday. Although each piece is similar through the type of dystopian control that is labeled, they differ with the people who control. Each piece is unique in the sense that each leader differs. In 1984 the government is referred to ass Big Brother. Big Brother’s regulations were so relentless to the point where thinking, writing, or saying “…down with Big Brother…” pg. 104 was seen as an act of treason and was punishable by death. In “Harrison Bergeron” the leader of society was the Handicapper General: Diana Moon Glampers. Ms. Glampers enforces the laws of author Kurt Vonneguts’ society through the use of technology. In the story George, Harrison’s father, wears a forty-seven pound canvas bag around his neck and is fearful of removing it due to the punishment that follows “…two years in a prison and two thousand dollars for every ball taken out…” pg. 2 By forcing George to wear

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