Monday, May 23, 2016

Response to "Harrison Bergeron"

Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, “Harrison Bergeron,” government attempts to make everybody equal, however taking their own individual traits that makes each individual unique. Harrison had an unpleasant experience where all his physical abilities, appearance and intellectual capacity. Harrison takes a leap of faith on escaping prison and attempts to overthrow the existing government. He wants to showcase his own uniqueness and superiority to society. Harrison broadcast in live television his proclamations and kisses the ballerina, whom he shortly dies with. Uniformity does not necessarily mean to be the same it could also mean to co-exist. People can be different but still could live with each other.

            “All men are created equally,” is part of our American constitution and has fought by the founding fathers. However, throughout time, this statement is consistently put to question such as, who are considered as men? Passively, Vonnegut attempts to attack that if equality is taken literally, it would have some serious repercussions. Harrison’s actions were taken as terroristic acts against the government. Not validation or conspiracy but perhaps ‘terrorist’ attempt to show the world something – whether to terror or knowledge. Vonnegut’s story does not demonstrate the equality he attempts to show, he still chose the characters as white, blond and fair skin – showing that Caucasians are still superior race. Is Vonnegut attempt to demonstrate that only white people are more intelligent, beautiful and have better physical abilities than others? This reminds much about the colonialism mindset portrayed by the European empires as well as what United States attempts to be doing in other third world countries. To make it fair, Vonnegut could have made character Harrison as a Native American to show the true meaning of liberation, and attempts to inject in our society, passively, what equality could really stand for. 

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