10 5 english papers - Question 4 Use of Humor in Harrison...

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Question 4 – Use of Humor in “Harrison Bergeron” by Vonnegut “Harrison Bergeron,” is full of dark themes as well as full of humor. This makes Vonnegut’s serious message easier to digest and more bitter. Almost every gloomy event in “Harrison Bergeron” is paired by a slick joke or moment of melancholy comedy. For example, the narrator explains that ballerinas are weighed down and masked to hide their lightness and beauty. This deeply sinister image is leavened when we learn that such measures are meant to save viewers from the pain of feeling that they themselves look like “something the cat drug in” in comparison to the dancing beauties on their television screens. Later, the fearful announcement about Harrison’s escape is accompanied by a mournful joke: the announcer has a speech impediment so bad that he must hand over the important news to a nearby ballerina so that she can read it. In a second joke, Hazel says she thinks the incompetent announcer should get a raise simply for trying hard. The pain of the

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