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Harrison Bergeron: Egalitarian Gazette

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Ty Hoppe

on 28 August 2014

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Transcript of Harrison Bergeron: Egalitarian Gazette

Essential Question
Short Film Adaptation of "Harrison Bergeron"
THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.
Story Background
Before Reading
2081: Everyone Will Finally Be Equal
Dystopia: A society characterized by corruption and human misery.

Egalitarian: A society where all people are required to be totally equal by law.

Vigilance: The process of paying close and constant attention.

Envious: Jealous, or desiring what another possesses.

Impediment: Something that prevents or delays an action.

Luminous: Bright or radiant, such as light.

Calibrate: To make fine adjustments to something.

Hindrance: Something that holds back or prevents progress.

Tremendous: Large in size or power.

Shriek: A sharp, piercing cry.

Consternation: Fear from the awareness of danger.

Cower: Crouch or curl up in fear.

Oppression: The act of controlling by cruelty.
Before Viewing:
What changes do you want to see in the short film “2081”? Why do you think it should be changed?
During Viewing:
How do the events shown in the movie “2081” compare to the events in the short story “Harrison Bergeron”.
How are the characters similar or different in the movie “2081” from the short story “Harrison Bergeron?”
What differences did you notice between the movie “2081” and the short story “Harrison Bergeron”?
Why do you think these changes were made?
After Viewing:
Did you enjoy the short story “Harrison Bergeron” or the film “2081” more? Use evidence from both texts to support your response and explain why you liked one better than the other.
Monday, April 17, 2081
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Remembered
"Harrison Bergeron"
Do the Following:
During Reading
Author Background:
Highlight the sentence in which each of the following vocabulary words is used:

Vigilance Envious Impediment Luminous Calibrate Hindrance
Tremendous Shriek Consternation Cower Oppression

After Harrison physically appears in the story, stop and draw his portrait, complete with handicaps.
Egalitarian Gazette
Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on November 11, 1922. Vonnegut emerged as a novelist and essayist in the 1960s, and penned the classics
Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions
before 1980. He is known for his satirical literary style, as well as the science-fiction elements in much of his work. Vonnegut died in New York City on April 11, 2007.
"Harrison Bergeron" takes place in a future America where "total equality" is constitutionally mandated. No one is allowed by law to be better than anyone else in anyway.

How can a society possibly accomplish this? What does it mean for free will?
Answer the Ten Questions then Select One of the Following Prompts and Complete the Short Essay Section of Your Booklet
After Reading
Free will requires freedom to pursue one's own best interests in life. Does free will exist in the egalitarian society of 2081? Give specific examples from the text why or why not.

The government holds tremendous control over the people of 2081. In what ways does this oppressive control suggest that not all people are truly equal in the future?

Everyone has qualities that are above average in some way. If you were a citizen of America in 2081, what qualities of yours would need to be handicapped? Be specific as to why.
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Full transcript