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Transcript of Harrison Bergeron
by Kurt Vonnegut
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.
hand·i·cap [han-dee-kap] Show IPA
a race or other contest in which certain disadvantages or advantages of weight, distance, time, etc., are placed upon competitors to equalize their chances of winning.
the disadvantage or advantage itself.
any disadvantage that makes success more difficult: The main handicap of our business is lack of capital.
a physical or mental disability making participation in certain of the usual activities of daily living more difficult.
verb (used with object), hand·i·capped, hand·i·cap·ping.
to place at a disadvantage; disable or burden: He was handicapped by his injured ankle.
to subject to a disadvantageous handicap, as a competitor of recognized superiority.
The opposite of what is expected occurs. A SURPRISE.
1. Character "A" knows something Character "B" does not.
2. The audience knows something the characters do not.
fair1 [fair] Show IPA
adjective, fair·er, fair·est.
free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: a fair decision; a fair judge.
legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules: a fair fight.
moderately large; ample: a fair income.
neither excellent nor poor; moderately or tolerably good: fair health.
marked by favoring conditions; likely; promising: in a fair way to succeed.
e·qual [ee-kwuhl] Show IPA
as great as; the same as (often followed by to or with ): The velocity of sound is not equal to that of light.
like or alike in quantity, degree, value, etc.; of the same rank, ability, merit, etc.: two students of equal brilliance.
evenly proportioned or balanced: an equal contest.
uniform in operation or effect: equal laws.
adequate or sufficient in quantity or degree: The supply is equal to the demand.
Why would an author choose to write a novel about a futuristic society with serious and sometimes dangerous faults?
What current trends, or ideas, exist in our world today that the author might be thinking of when writing this type of story?
What benefits do dystopian stories lend to you and your world?
Society is controlled by a philosophical or religious ideology often enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic government
One of more of the large corporations control society through products, advertising, and the media
Types of Dystopian Controls
The natural world is banished and distrusted
Citizens conform to uniform expectations
Individuality and dissent are bad
Society is an illusion of a perfect world
Characteristics of Dystopian Society
Propaganda is used to control citizens
Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted
Figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society
Citizens are under constant surveillance and have a fear of the outside world
Citizens live in a dehumanized state
Characteristics of Dystopian Society
All in all, we’re just another brick in the wall…
Often feels trapped and is struggling to escape
Questions the existing society and political systems
Believes or feels that something is terribly wrong with society in which he or she lives
Helps the audience recognize the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective
Futuristic, imagined universe
Oppressive societal control
Perfect society is maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control
Dystopian literature criticizes current trends, norms, or political systems
What is a Dystopia?
What are the 20 most important words in the
Got your list? Good! Use ONLY those twenty words to
1. Ask the person you like on a date.
2. Tell your parent what you did in school.
3. Give me directions to Hanes Mall.