Inequality In Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron

653 Words3 Pages
How much is too much? Is gaining absolute equality worth sacrificing individuality and freedom? In Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”, total equality is introduced to a futuristic society in 2081. Vonnegut warns us that there is a heavy price to pay when we constantly search for new ways to equalize and could quite possibly end up like those mindless clones in Harrison Bergeron’s society. According to them, the one obstacle that is in their way to achieve happiness is difference – inequality. However, their misinterpretation of the terms “equality” and “happiness” ultimately sends them into a dystopian crisis. In a sense, equality is definitely something the world could improve upon; however, absolute equality is another issue in which too much of a good thing may cause matters to go in the wrong direction. Diana Moon Glampers pictures this world of total equality by stabilizing everyone’s academic genius, athletic ability, and artistic talent to the same level. “Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was…show more content…
For example, an academic genius would have a handicapper radio sending excruciating signals every 20 seconds, someone who is strong would have heavy weights attached to their body, and people with beautiful faces have to wear hideous masks. In addition, people immediately know what quality he or she possesses – beauty, strength, or intelligence, based on the handicaps they carry around with them. “She must have been extraordinarily beautiful, because the mask that she wore was hideous. And it was easy to see that she was the strongest and most graceful of all the dancers, for her handicap bags were as big as those worn by two-hundred-pound-men.” This notion not only proves that people still get affected mentally; it also invokes a slight jealousy. For example, Hazel is envious of all the different sounds George gets to hear. As a result, happiness is simply unable to

More about Inequality In Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron

Open Document