Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

This reading, can be summarized as being about an family by the name of George and Hazel Bergeron. They had an son named Harrison. However, their son had been taken away from them, at the age of fourteen. He had been taken from them, by the Handicap Generals. This story was set in the year 2081.
During this time period, everyone is considered to be equal. This has been due, to changes to the Amendment. Even though Hazel and George grieved over their son being taken from them, they could not be allowed to find the situation to be as tragic as one may think. This was due to the fact, that the wife had short bursts of memory. So only memories of her son would come and go. Also, her husband had to wear an mental handicap radio in his ear. This was due to the fact, that he was not allowed to have too much control of his mind.
While reading this piece of work, I could not help but make an connection to Feed. This book is one of the assigned readings for the "Major American Writers" course. The reason that this book, reminded me of Feed was that it also had themes of people being dominated by someone or something, in an futuristic setting. Another connection to pop culture, that I had to this book was that it made me think of the film "Children of Men". "Children of Men" is also an futuristic storyline about mankind being changed, from how the world is now. Both this film and story have elements of suspense along with science-fiction themes.
 Lastly, one question that I had about the book, was that " what was the purpose of the ballerinas in the story"?. In the short story, George and Hazel had been watching ballerinas perform on the TV set. Whenever George would wince, the ballerinas would wince and mimic George's movements.
 Lastly, I feel as though this piece of writing was very interesting and yet hard to interpet. This would be an awful world to be part of, if technology and other forces were actually controlling people. I have never been an huge fan of science fiction, so I had to reread this story several times to be able to understand it. However, I did find "Harrison Bergeron" to be very unique and intriguing.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to make, several comments about "Harrison Bergeron". One comment, is that this short story shows an attempt to make all equal in society. Also, The ballerinas that the Bergeron family was watching, almost seems to connect to this ideal. Also, one must ask themselves, if the government in this story views the people as being too stupid to think for themselves. Also, since the government wants the people to be dominated, you must wonder if the government purposely wants the people to remain dumb. Also, this story has the same connection as "Feed". This is due to the fact, that one is ostracized if they would attempt to try to be different from others.