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Literature in SocietyHarrison BergeronAs seen in Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron", following the principle that all were created equal blindly results in an overly literal execution of this idea and ruins individualism as well as true freedom. The author's use of science fiction and satire give us a seemingly bizarre story but when we look at it with a more critical eye we notice it shares similarities with the world today. By analyzing Vonnegut's inclusion of the idea that television has more control over our lives than we realize, the government is at times too involved in our daily lives, and seeing what total equality would look like, we can truly learn about ourselves and society. To briefly summarize the story, it was set in 2081. There were four major characters seen throughout the story, George Bergeron, Hazel Bergeron, Harrison Bergeron, and Diana Moon Glampers. George and Hazel are the parents of Harrison, who spend the entire narrative sitting intheir living room talking and watching television. Harrison is their son who interrupts the television programming to announce he is taking over the country. Glampers is the Handicapper General, in charge of forcing physical restraints on people to ensure they are all equal. The people in the story are all subjected to wearing "handicaps" that restrain their thinking and moving, forcing everyone to think and act at a very low level. The government in the story is modeled after a communist government. 1
From the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed, we are being persuaded and directed into a desired way of thinking by mass media. In the story the more intelligent people are made less capable of thinking by radios that they wear on the heads that release bursts of noise "every twenty seconds or so". "The transmitter (radio) would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains". This may not seem like media but it is because of the use of a radio, which is one of the earliest forms of mass media, to control and direct people in the way they desire. Television also plays a key role in the story, not