Some people see the future having flying cars, robots, and peace. Kurt Vonnegut sees the future as a dark world and a prison. In his short story, Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut writes about a world where the government plays the role of “equality” on the people, but the government is really using this falsity as an excuse to control the people in the society with handicaps.
In the present, equality is what we strive for. We try to treat people equally like people’s rights and the justice system or something as simple as including everyone in an activity. Kurt Vonnegut sees equality as a controlling factor in the future. The government uses handicaps to make everyone equal. The handicaps hold people back by not letting them use their intelligence, strength, and/or beauty. The handicaps cripple the society because there is no more competition among coworkers. People have jobs but they don’t strive to be better than anyone else. They know and fear that if they step out of line, the Handicapper General will make them pay. After work the people come home and sit in front of the television for the rest of the day, like George and Hazel. George was “condemned” with above average intelligence and strength. So by using the role of “equality” the government gives people handicaps in order to restrict them from using their “condemnations”. The first handicap is an earpiece, this transmitter sends out earsplitting noises in order to impede above “average intelligence” people. George is one of these unlucky people in which he has the earpiece and that he can’t remember Harrison dying in the theater because “There was the sound of a riveting gun in his head.” Basically, Kurt Vonnegut uses this sentence to show how this “equal” government has taken control of the people enough so that the government can regulate what the people remember or think about. Also “Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn't think about anything except in short bursts.” Hazel is the perfect kind of person that the government is trying to create. She has no mental handicap which means that she is the perfect example of “average intelligence” for this society. The graceful and strong must wear weights to obstruct their physical advantages. George along with the ballerinas both had to wear lead balls around their necks. These handicaps made sure that everyone felt the burden of lugging around huge and heavy weights everywhere they went. This made it more difficult for them to rebel because they were slower and more tired than the H-G men. The last handicap was that the beautiful, the ballerinas, had to wear hideous masks because they were prettier than others. This shows the extent of the government’s power because they even control something as petty as appearance.
To convey his idea of this prison, Kurt uses intense irony, figurative language, and symbolism. Throughout the short story Vonnegut repeats the idea of equality, but truthfully none of them are equal. In the government’s attempt to make everyone equal, Hazel says, “I'd think it would be real interesting, hearing all the different sounds, all the things they think up.” Ironically, with her “average