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Transcript of Harrison Bergeron
By Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Presented by Samuel Li -Dystopian science-fiction short story About "Harrison Bergeron" -First published in October 1961 -Believed to convey an anti-communism theme About Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. -Born November 11, 1922 in Indianapolis -German-American -Originally published in
"The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction" -Was an infantry unit in WWII -Taken POW by Germans -Witnessed Dresden fire-bombing as prisoner; bombing inspired his work -Has been made into many films Irony -Harrison is expected so succeed in his
coup d'état, but fails -George and Hazel forget that their son died Works Cited: -The story takes place in the future, but the events and themes have been repeated in the past Setting -Takes place in the year 2081 -"The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal...Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else..." (459). -Due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Ammendments to the Constitution -Handicapper General enforces handicaps Plot -George and Hazel Bergeron are in their living room. George is thinking about Harrison. -George's intelligence was "way above normal" (460), so he had to have a mental handicap in his ear. He also had 47 pounds of birdshot on him. -"Hazel had perfectly average intelligence" (460) -They are watching ballerinas on television. -A little bit is revealed about
Harrison Bergeron -Died in 2007 -Everyone was literally equal. Plot -On television, the ballerinas all
wear handicaps. A news bulletin interrupts
the show. -"'Harrison Bergeron, age fourteen,' She said in a grackle squawk, 'has escaped from jail'..." (462) -A picture of Harrison is shown. He has many handicaps. Plot -Harrison storms the studio himself,
saying he is the emperor. The whole studio is in fear. -He rips of his handicaps -"Even as I stand here...cripppled, hobbled, sickened, I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!" (464) -Harrison selects an empress. -They dance together Themes -The frightening result of total equality -Individual talent and gifts -The power of television, as a sedative. Characters -George Bergeron -Hazel Bergeron -Harrison Bergeron -Diana Moon Glampers “The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?”
. . . . A siren was going off in George’s head.
“Reckon it’d fall all apart,” said Hazel.
“What would?” said George blankly.
“Society,” said Hazel uncertainly. “Wasn’t that what you just said?”
“Who knows?” said George. (462) Quote: Thanks for Listening! 2081Film, dir. 2081 Trailer | Based on Kurt Vonnegut. 2009. Film. 14 Oct 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE_nr2t6fKQ>.
Vonnegut, Kurt. "Harrison Bergeron." Trans. Array American Short Stories. Julie A. Schumacher and Carol Francis. 2nd ed. Logan: Perfection Learning Corporation, 2012. 459-466. Print.
Wikipedia contributors. "Harrison Bergeron." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 12 Oct 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Bergeron>.
Wikipedia contributors. "Kurt Vonnegut." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 11 Oct 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Vonnegut>.