A Critical Analysis of Harrison Bergeron

I decided to write my analysis on story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and what he talks about is the future. This short essay is one of the best that Kurt Vonnegut Jr wrote because of the interesting things he put into this essay. It has horrifying situations that become humorous by an interesting narrator. As I read this short story, I figured out how this little boy lived his life being handicapped.

In the first paragraph of his story, Vonnegut indicates that the year is 2081. He says that everyone is equal because of the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and of the Handicapper General. This is telling us that a society has reached equality in a time not very far from our, and that we made a bunch of laws to do it. Does this show anything about equality? This is more like a dictatorship than something to be happy about. The people here really couldn’t care less if they were all equal. Most of them are mentally impaired or have been handicapped so that they can’t keep a straight line of thought. People with disabilities have the thoughts of repeating themselves. For example, my boyfriend’s grandma repeats herself all the time and is confused about who we are and from my point of view it is sad. I really don’t like seeing her at that point. All they can process is that they’re as good as anybody else, but they don’t have the mental capacity to question why or how they got to this point. Anyone who tries to change the system is killed. We have learned to just let his grandma talk over and over because she likes to talk about her family a lot. People such as Harrison who are ‘under-handicapped’ are considered dangerous. Because those people can push past the boundary’s society has dictated to them. I really didn’t understand what that was meaning when I read it, so I looked up the definition online and it helped me understand why it is dangerous. George says, “The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?” And Hazel responds, “Reckon it’d fall apart.” But take this into consideration: Just because a law is in place doesn’t make it a particularly good one just by default. People are held back from their full potential; from what they can truly become. These circumstances do not create an ideal society.

Such measures would hinder the growth of the world. This wouldn’t just affect the individual, because without new ideas, society would stop advancing. Technology would essentially stay the same, and the only research done would be by the government. If technology wasn’t getting bigger then over government would be taking over our country. People with disabilities use technology to communicate with others that have the same disability as they do. For example, someone might not be able to speak at all, so they find a group that has the same disability as them. Same with people who can’t walk. I have a cousin that hasn’t walked since he was four years old. He wasn’t supposed to live to be sixteen and we just celebrated his 65th or 66th birthday last week. It’s amazing to see how disability people make it in this world so happy while there are some people who complain when they break a bone or must get glasses, or they must be put on medication. People don’t think about how the handicapped people feel on the inside.

In conclusion, because Harrison Bergeron defied his horrible government, he was killed. I feel like everyone should come together and help people with disabilities. It would make this world a better place to live and more people would become friends, then becoming enemies. I disagree with the government killing Harrison. He was giving his opinion about the government and where he was handicapped, they thought that they had a right to have him killed when really, they didn’t. Everyone needs to have equal rights and not make fun or treat people with disabilities differently. That is why our world is becoming a bad place, its because people don’t want to help the people in need. Now I know that there are some people in this world that fake it, but the people that you see that are handicapped you need to help them. My boyfriend and I help people all the time that can’t walk or lift heavy things. Last week, we helped a lady get her groceries in her car because she looked like she was struggling so we helped her.

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