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In his humorous, yet sad satire, Vonnegut’s use of ridiculous handicaps and weapons by the government further indicates the effects of government oppression: extreme limitations lead to lost freedom and further achievement in society. Although Vonnegut uses humor to entertain his readers, he, also, suggests that an oppressive government brings nothing positive to its society. Trying to obtain equality in all aspects through oppression is unrealistic; by doing so, society forfeits its freedom and desire to progress in the future. Vonnegut’s handicaps literally become handicaps of society. The
use of weapons to oppress a society is an inexcusable act of torture to its people. Throughout his satire, Vonnegut uses ridiculous scenarios to show his disdain for oppressive governments because the freedom lost can be dangerous for society’s progression. Vonnegut’s use of symbols transforms an entertaining short story into one that expresses a deeper, alternate meaning. The government’s use of handicaps provide equality in all ways possible, but at what cost? To obtain such equality, competition, freedom, and creativity must be sacrificed. Becauseall people are forced to exhibit the same qualities, the need tobe creative or compete is eliminated; being creative or competitive defeats the Handicap General’s goal of equality. Thepeople lose all freedom to be themselves since they are forced to become an idealistic picture of an oppressive government’s vision. Without the freedom to compete and be creative, process is halted. Handicaps symbolize the inability to improve society because the forced equality provides a false sense of perfectionor utopia.