Equality In This Society (From Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron)

Thesis: Equality is what we strive for throughout our lives but is it worth it in the end?

Intro: Everyday each of us goes through life trying to be an equal part of society, trying to dress the same, trying to act the same, even trying to listen to the same political problems. However, neither of us fully succeed in the end, but what if we lived in a society where it was a mandatory procedure where the government demanded equality. Could we give them what they wanted? The story Harrison Bergeron explains the three ways how society becomes the voice and development of equality, or so they think. This Essay will explain the three ways Equality is demanded.

Paragraph One:  To Begin, the aspect of this story divides it’s self into three parts of equality; Mentally, Physically and by Law. The Government portrays the law of equality to it’s citizen’s by forcing them to shut down what they think is normal and to obey the law “Nobody was smarter than anyone else, nobody was better looking than anyone else, nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else” This proves how demanding the law became for equality and if they did not do as they were told they were punished. For example you could receive a fine and or jail time due to disobeying the law, or get unforeseen punishments such as getting shot. This basically shuts down our opportunity of living life the way we want to, and instead live by the way the government wants to live, which becomes our new and only cost to freedom.

Paragraph Two: This leads us to our aspect of physical equality. In Harrison Bergeron they state the fact that physical equality is much more reasonable than inequality , until it gets out of hand. “As good as any one else”. For example the beautiful must wear masks or disfigure themselves for they cannot look any different from the rest of society, nor can the intelligent who must have a hearing aid to distract their ability to think. At the end of the story we see that Harrison comes out dressed like a Gesture, due to him being beautifully intelligent he must wear the hearing aid and a mask to hide his character. Then we are shown that he is no longer the governments joke, for he is sick of their version of equality and wants to be normal.

Paragraph Three: Last but not least the third aspect of this is Mentally involved. “Who knows better’n I do, what normal is?” Mentally this is what we all think right? who knows normal than ourselves personally. wrong! This story proves that everyone else doesn’t know anything except for what the government tells them; we must think, act and dress the same for the governments to avoid confrontation. Near the end of the story Harrison ends up being the first one mentally and physically realizing the harm that this equality has brought to society and decides to break it so they can all be normal again, however no on understands what normal is anymore, in fact they are mentally drawn to the fact of equality that that’s what normal becomes to them.

Conclusion: At the end of Harrison Bergeron the equality society ends up winning, however to do so they must have gone through some law abiding, physical and mental rules in return of power. This goes to show that power is more overwhelming in a society that is equal than a society that is unequal. So in the end when we are all wanting equality can we be positive it will be the way we want it to be or will it be the way Kurt Vonnegut explains in his story about Harrison Bergeron where equality is nothing more than power on society?




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