“Harrison Bargeron” written by Kurt Vonnegut

“Harrison Bargeron” written by Kurt Vonnegut is a story about the future of the society. He described how society has changed from the days when everybody competed with each other. Everyone one is now happy and equal. There is no stronger, pretty, smarter or even faster. The government using capabilities limiting equipments controls those with advanced capabilities.

This type of government is similar to communism. In communism, everything belongs to everyone and however intelligent one is, the intelligence has no effect in terms of competition. There is no competition in communism since the government controls all the resources. Kurt writes, “And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear”. The, handicapper general is controlling George’s intelligence to make him less competitive. In communism, all people are equal in all ways. Any advanced capabilities do not add any advantage on a personal level. Whatever one does benefits the society as a whole

The other type of government that Kurt mentions is dictatorship. Harrison Bergeron after escaping from prison announces himself as an emperor. He says, “I am the Emperor!” cried Harrison. “Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!” He stamped his foot and the studio shook”.   He storms the television station where he orders people around. In dictatorship, the ruler has the final say, and makes all the decisions. However, just like Harrison Bergeron was killed by the handicapper general, dictatorship does not last wrong.

Work Cited

Vonnegut, Kurt. “HARRISON BERGERON.” Harrison Bergeron. 1961. Web. 08 Mar. 2016. <http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html>.


Response to Nino Khakhiashvili

Great analysis Nino, there is some form of communism in what Kurt Vonnegult is describing. A type of leadership where everyone is equal portrays characteristics of communism. In Kurt Vonnegult description, all people are equal in smartness, prettiness, strength and speed. It does not mean that people are literally equal in everything rather it means that whatever capabilities one has can nor benefit him/her personally. Everything belongs to the community and is controlled by the government.  This type of rulership helps in avoiding chaos though it does not always people happy. Harrison Bergeron declares himself emperor because he was not happy.  I think it is not fair for people to be controlled to that extent. Communism though practiced in some countries is unfair to some people. It does not consider that some people may not work hard but at the end of day will benefit just like the others.

Response to Yuliana Cuzzi             

Great view Yuliana, Kurt Vonnegut describes what the future might look like. With the current advancement in technologies and the need for people for equality, there may arise the need to control people abilities in future to ensure there is equality. It is very intriguing how we as humans always strive for equality forgetting we all have different capabilities.  In some sense, the equality we so much fight for may come because of the government controlling our abilities. I think this also has some elements of communism. In communism, the citizens work for the benefit of the community. Ones abilities do not make him/her better in the society. This provides equality in some sense. On the other hand, Harrison Bergeron is trying to change the leadership but is introducing dictatorship. Dictatorship is even worse than communism. It instills fear in people.  Just like Harrison Bergeron was quickly killed, people quickly eliminate dictatorship.

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