May 21 2016
Living in a world where population control is a big thing seems so unreal, but not for not for Edward K. Wehling Jr. He lived in a world where there was no longer any diseases, no jails, poverty, and no old age. It seemed like the perfect world, not many people and never having to worry about dying, unless you wanted to. For every birth, someone must die to make room. Edward Wehling is waiting for the arrival of his triplets, but the downside is that he is forced to have his grandfather commit suicide so he can keep only one of his three babies. Edward did not want to give up his grandfather and he wanted to keep all of his newborn babies, but he needed to find three people who wanted to die so his triplets can live.
This work is utopian because the world they live in is free of diseases, old age, poverty, jails, wars cripples and so much more. Anyone can think that a world free of problems is the best place to be. But what makes this work Dystopian, is the fact that it included population control. For every birth, someone has to die to make sure they do not exceed the limit of people, and that does not seem like a good idea to Edward. In this world although all is good, people had the option to die, just call 2 B R 0 2 B schedule an appointment with the Federal Bureau of Termination and you are all set. You can do it yourself a basically commit suicide but then someone has to clean up after you, or you can be comforted while you are preparing to die. This is similar to Ayn Rand’s Anthem because in this story there is a “Palace of Mating” where they are forced to go mate with another individual, have children, never meet their children and then go on with the rest of your day.
I feel like Kurt Vonnegut wrote this short story because he felt that this was how the world would be eventually. The political and economic structure in this short story is that everything is great, everyone is equal and there are no worries, at least not until one is to be born because then you must find someone who is willing to die so that infant can live. Kurt Vonnegut’s belief was that if he could write and sound like a child then he would be able to get his message along straightforward.
The world they live in is exactly how Kurt felt it should be, free of worries, illness, poverty and much more, but then again nothing can be perfect. I feel that Kurt Vonnegut was fighting his depression at the time this was written, because those who wanted to die were able to go quietly by making an appointment or just take their own life and have others clean up after them. Another work we read in class that was similar to this was Anthem, because like I mentioned earlier there was a Palace of Mating. That Palace of Mating was where people were forced to mate at least once a year. Not only is it similar to Anthem but also to Harrison Bergeron because in that short story they were not able to think for themselves. Although thinking on your own and having to pick how many babies you’ll keep due to population control may not be the same thing, being told what to do or think is just not as appealing as being your own person. In “2BR02B” when waiting for you child to be born, you must take one person who wants to die to the Bureau of Termination and they give you a receipt as proof that one person died for your child, and in “Harrison Bergeron” you are not allowed to use your mind freely or look good because then your brain will be sent waves to erase what you were thinking about.
I felt like the beginning of this short story was explaining how great the world will one day be despite the fact that there is always a flaw, and that flaw here is population control. Some people may see population control as a great thing because they are trying to make sure that we are not overpopulated, and honestly I do not think there is such thing as being overpopulated because sadly there is death everyday. I feel like this short story is based on the saying “when one door closes another one opens” only because when one person dies another is born, but then there is the opposite to it when one is born one must die.This short story is great because it makes you think of places like China that had the one policy. China was once afraid of overpopulation that they had a policy that families were only allowed to have one child, with the exception of twins or triplets. Not only did China have the one child policy but they also had the one girl law, where the chinese were only allowed to have one daughter. China also believed that they were one of the greatest places to live because they were so accustomed to it, just like in this short story except there is always that one person who no matter what, they do not believe that their home is the greatest. There is always a flaw in anything or anyplace you believe is perfect.