Full and absolute equality has finally arrived. This includes a type of equality that many past generations have fought to have, whether it be women's rights, civil rights, gay and lesbian rights, etc. Some who have failed in this fight and others fulfilled partially, but now full equality throughout society, in the year 2081. “They weren’t only equal before God and the law, they were equal every which way” (Vonnegut) In the year 2081 all of society as become equal in every aspect of life. This includes their physical attractiveness, physical strengths and mental intelligence, all equal. Equality is maintained by “handicaps”. For someone who is considered very intelligent, he or she is forced to wear a mental handicap in his or her ear, for someone who is stronger than the “average Joe” is forced to have extra weight attached to them at all times and for someone who is considered attractive must wear a mask to hide their faces. In the short story, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., reveals an argument that the need for full equality loses the variety and uniqueness and strengths of individuals along with the diversity as a whole, which in doubt is a negative effect on all of society.
The loss of variety and personal strengths is shown clearly through characters George and
Hazel. George and Hazel both depict people in society who have loss their ability to think abstractly or even wear for long periods of time. More specifically George has been affected by the loss more than Hazel has. “George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times, it was tuned to a government transmitter, 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”
(Vonnegut). George has been forced to wear a device that basically no longer allows him to think. Although the government may think that its only fair because other members of society, for instance his wife Hazel, only have average intelligence and it would be “unequal” to have someone in society smarter than them, it actually only makes society worse. Today in most