Analysis of Harrison Bergeron
The short story I have chosen for precritical analysis is titled Harrison Bergeron. Written by Kurt Vonnegut it deals with many objects of symbolism. The over-riding theme of the story is one of egalitarianism, or more succinctly, the problems stemming from a dogmatic belief in equality. The story deals with the social aspects of equality rather than the political or economic. I will explore a few of the more interesting aspects of Vonnegut’s tale.
The beginning of the first paragraph does a spectacular job of identifying the tension and texture represented. He writes “The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal” (Vonnegut 7). The equality is not of a racial or financial kind. Everyone is equal in intelligence, looks, strength, and speed. The story possesses an abundance of fantastically vivid imagery which lends itself to the enhancement of the work texturally. The use of dark humor that relies on the use of pessimistic, even depressing views of the absurdities of life also adds texture. In a century when science and technology have been used to harm rather than help humankind, Vonnegut's bitter anti machine, anti-technology images clearly reinforce the themes of the story. Instead of improving machines to make life easier, society relies on outdated, nineteenth century tools to encumber the superior members of his culture to prevent either growth or experimentation.
The structure of the story is supported by short, succinct paragraphs describing the actual handicaps used to. The story is presented in an expository fashion. The constant reminder that there are various means to handicap the characters help to maintain the structure. The most beautiful, athletic or intelligent people are given one or more handicaps depending on their level of the above stated attributes. The conversation between characters assists in moving the story forward.
The point of view is in the narrative form with a...