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short story authored by Kurt Vonnegut

ENGLISH PROJECT: Short Story Analysis

Short Story Analysis

——– Harrison Bergeron

“Harrison Bergeron” is the title of a short story authored by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. This virtual story is based on imagination and talks about things happen in the future. At the year of 2081, everybody was finally equal except a boy called Harrison Bergeron. He is special due to he is better than any others from different perspectives including intelligence and speed, etc. Thus, he is unavailable to live smoothly under the authorities. After a period of against, Harrison’s life is still end by authorities’ woman named Diana. To Summarize, the full text of story revolves around experiences of Harrison Bergeron’s short but legendary lifetime. Meanwhile, explores the extreme revolutions on people’s life which is causes by a series of certain events of authorities. Those events are known as unreasonable arrest, mandatory wear mental handicap radio and even legalized killing, etc.

Harrison Bergeron is set as protagonist in the story. His image in story is a 14 years old handsome, genius and athlete boy who born by ordinary citizens parents George and Hazel. He is too prefect and bright and those finally attracts authorities’ attention and murder. Another major character, Diana Moon Glampers is set as antagonist in the story. As a loyal woman of handicap general organization, she has the responsibility of enforcing and ensured that all people are staying equal. This lady is also a cruel assassin and end people’s life without any doubt. I think both of the two major characters are tragedy, Harrison become a typical political victim and Diana always be used by authorities as a tool.

The story begins with introduces the environment of society at that time. Authors use parallelism sentence, “Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else” (369) to emphasize his background setting that everybody was finally equal. But in fact, this kinds of equal is just an illusion.

According to the story, the main elements that can enhance its understanding include the facts of equality and how that equality by every individual is achieved in the text. From the story, the law requires every individual to be well equal to the rest of the people, thus, people would not start competing with one another. The author of the story implies that before this rule of equality came up, undesirable events had earlier occurred. From the text, George expresses that, “If I tried to get away with it, then other people’d get away with it-and pretty soon we’d be right back to the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn’t like that, would you?” about George’s question, Hazel replies “I’d hate it,” (371) The occurrence of dark ages was blamed on that people need to compete and emerge as better people than others. To eliminate this threat, the current authority decided to use every thing as well as possible to ensure that everybody stayed equal and made obeisance to the exclusive power. That looks benefits for everybody because no competition means no war and no back to dark ages. However, the authority’s real purpose is because they do not want anyone to stand out or be special because he or she threatens the system of domination. In summarize, only one “king” can rule the dystopian society, so H-G must purge Harrison to strengthen his own power.

Peoples who made efforts to be better than others were subjected to extreme suffering. A typically example is Harrison’s father George, whose intelligence was way above normal. As described in the text, “Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains” (370). The more an individual try to be better, the much impacts comes from handicaps will be produce to interrupt his or her judgment, and thus the much pains will be inflicted on his or her spirit. Conversely, Harrison’s mother Hazel has no matter to bit the bullet because author obviously explained in the text, “Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts. (370)” However, Harrison Bergeron, the soul character of the whole story, he had enough ability and confident to against the misconduct authorities. He wants to better than the rest of the people, he want to be the Emperor. He asks peoples take out mental handicap radio and enjoy life without any restriction like he kissed with his new Empress. Undoubtedly, Harrison’s behaviors threat and challenge the power of authorities. The things they are most worried about are happening and leading by unique Harrison. Therefore, they arrange Diana go to kill Harrison mercilessly although he is only a 14 years old boy. Long times brain washing education from authorities make Diana lost the ability to think about own idea, maybe she will never know she did something wrong because she maybe kill the hope to liberate people including herself from the jail created by authorities.

In conclusion, I predict the author want to criticize this unreasonable behavior like the authorities did for Harrison and other citizens. Meanwhile, express to audience that if we are all forced to be equal, then no one will be free.

Work Cited

Vonnegut, Kurt, Jr. “Harrison Bergeron.”

Comments from teacher:

Please review and edit as appropriate. Fix your grammar mistakes. The meaning of some sentences are unclear.

Also, add transitions between sentences within each paragraph so it is smooth to read.

Next make the thesis statement clear and arguable. For example: Author uses the elements of character, ____, and _____ to criticize….. Thus, you would develop 3 paragraphs analyzing each elements and including evidence from the short story.

Finally, have a least 2 pieces of strong evidence in each body paragraph to support your topic sentences which refer back to your thesis/argument.

Link of story:


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