Reading Response On Harrison Bergeron By Kurt Vonnegut
The time we live in now there is lots of rights and freedom we have. We live in a place where we have the opportunity to be our own person and we don’t even think twice about it. We have these privileges that we take for granted. In the short story, “Harrison Bergeron” life is the total opposite. Everyone one is equal if you have any advantage over anyone you get weights if you have a physical advantage to equal you out or if you are more educated you get a hearing piece that makes loud noises to ruin all your thoughts. Harrison Bergeron was written by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. The story showed that being the same all the time can affect the way we live, how we act, and what we say and do.
When I first read this story I never really had much thought about how lucky I am. I always knew I was privileged to live in this amazing country but I never really went deep into what it’s like to not have my freedom. Reading this story and seeing that everyone had to be equal and the same really change my feelings. This stories text has personally affected me because it has really made me realize that maybe myself personally and everyone in general should except that we are all different and stop trying to be the same as one another because the things that make us different from each other is what makes us so great. This story has personally affected me because it has made me thankful and I will never take my traits that are different from everyone else for granted.
This story clashes with my views of the world a lot. The biggest thing that I don’t agree with is the law of everyone being equal. With everyone being equal we lose are uniqueness. “They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.” This quote from the story is the rules established at the beginning explaining how the world works in the year 2081. When I read this from the text it made me wonder why anyone would consider us fully equal as humans. We already give out enough participation trophies and making everyone equal will make people lose their drive and motivation because there is no point at being better than someone else at something. That is what I don’t really agree with establishing rules that would ruin society.
Reading this story my views did not change at all really. I totally disagree with making everyone equal because I think it will only make us as a society very weak but I also agreed with a part well mostly a particular character and that character was Harrison Bergeron. Harrison is the one rebel that understands in the story we should all be different and I really liked that about Harrison because he was the only person with some common sense. ‘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. 4 ‘Even as I stand here’ he bellowed, ‘crippled, hobbled, sickened – I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!’ Harrison tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds. Harrison’s scrap-iron handicaps crashed to the floor.” This quote was very impactful when I read it because it showed whatever rules they tried to put in place Harrison wasn’t going to listen and that is why this was the one part I agreed strongly on.
This short story addresses many things that I find important to me. The big picture of the story was taking away everyone’s freedom and differences. Some big things that I find important are things like my faith, My rights to be different, Freedom of speech and that is why I personally think that this story was written in such an effective way because it created this world that we are not use to hearing. We don’t like to be told what to do and in this story every single thing people do is not their own decision. In the passage they talked about all these restrictions like the hearing aids or the weights put on people. These things are examples of things being taken away from everyone and so when people have to be the same they can’t have their own beliefs really. So for me this interferes with for example my religion of being a Catholic because they won’t allow me to have my own opinions on faith. So this is how the story really addressed things I found important because it really made me think about what it would be like if I didn’t get to express my beliefs.
I was really entertained when I first read this story. The story immediately started off with a great hook, “THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal.” When I read this I right away was intrigued by what this story was going to be like and it really did end up being very exceptional. The author, Vonnegut did a great job making this story entertaining. When he went straight into talking about the future he had me really interested because I wanted to see what someone elses view of the future was like. I thought he did a great job being very creative and even though he didn’t write this story this year it collaborates well with what all has been going on because right now there is lots of talk on equality. Equality for races and equality for women and pay and so to create a story about everyone being equal I thought it worked really well that I just so happened to be a topic at this time. I thought Vonnegut was very smart with how he planned out his writing. I liked how he was able to come up with these restrictions to everyone like the weights for the more athletic and physical people and the hearing aids that made noises for the very intelligent people. His creativity is what really brought this story together in my opinion. Stories like this are very rare to find. You have these two brilliant aspects of this story that put together made it so great. The first is the entertaining aspect of it. People of all ages and intelligence could read this short story very easy because it isn’t too challenging and it is very creative and exciting that it would keep many people’s attention while reading. The next aspect that really made this a fantastic book is the lessons behind it. This book wasn’t just for entertainment, there was a deeper meaning for it. Vonnegut brought up a big topic which is equality. But he didn’t just bring it up in a boring way he really thought out how he can attract the most readers while also making us think about what would happen if the rules were changed and what will our upcoming futures look like. This is why I believe this was such an effective story and why I think myself and many other people have enjoyed it and why Vonnegut did such a good job writing it.
Overall I thought this short story was very exceptional. It brought many things together to make a creative, educational, and entertaining story to read. I will definitely read more short stories from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. If I was going to recommend this short story to anyone I would Recommend it to someone that is interested in futuristic things like a person that enjoys seeing other people’s views on what the future will look like to them. I also would recommend this story to people that are looking for something entertaining and not as serious because this book is all about fun and then lastly if someone is interested in equality and things on that topic this could be a really good story to read because it might change some people’s views about being equal because they can see that it actually didn’t turn out to be very good in this story and so maybe people will think of better ways to find ways to satisfy everyone in other ways than just being equal. This is what I thought about the short story, “Harrison Bergeron” and why I thought this was such a good book for people to read and what I liked and thought about the story.
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