People often have a preconceived notion that a character is either evil or good. As people get older they get wiser, and they realize life is not black and white. In the story Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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one of the main characters, George, wears a handicap. A handicap is a device to stop him from thinking to much. George’s son, Harrison, comes on a ballet program on the t.v, but because of the handicap, George doesn’t recognize him. Harrison is rebelling against his own handicaps and rips them off,encouraging others to do the same. But then the head of the device administrator comes and shoots Harrison, killing him. Although because of the handicap, George doesn’t remember his son or anything that happened. Harrison Bergeron is a revolutionary hero because he helped the citizens grow to their true potential as well as being a symbol and figure for rebellion . Lastly he was a hero because he was willing to put his life on the line to fight against the absurd laws that destroy the individual to the point of handicapping society’s potential. He is determined to be who he is and set and example of honesty for others.
The first reason why Harrison Bergeron is a hero is because he helped the fellow citizens realize their endless possibilities. One example of this is when Harrison told the musicians to play music. The author shows him helping people grow by comparing the music before and after the handicaps, Music!” he commanded. The musicians scrambled back into their chairs, and Harrison stripped them of their handicaps, “Play your best,” he told them (5). The musicians go on to play music that is cheap, silly and false until Harrison strips them of their handicap and they begin to play music that was much better. By including the descriptive words the reader can draw the conclusion that the world is much improved with the handicaps gone. The world would is a dull place with fake emotions because everyone has handicaps, and by Harrison tearing them off he shows a more colorful version of their world. Furthermore being a figure for everyone.
Like mentioned earlier, Harrison is an example of rebellion. This leads to him being a hero. At one point in the story a ballerina on the program, George was watching, has to make an announcement. She says Harrison Bergeron has just escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. He is a genius and an athlete, (3) This is the author trying to convey positive attributes like Athlete and genius in a negative light. By doing this the author is making the reader question if the handicaps are righteous or downright immoral. The ballerina also reveals that Harrison is trying to overthrow the government. By having contrast in the author’s story it demonstrates how different Harrison was from what the government wanted him to be. Harrison’s tenacious tendency to be himself is unwavering.
Harrison Bergeron, sacrificed his life just for the chance to be himself and change the world around him for the better. The author states this by having Harrison get shot and die in the end. It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor. (5) this conveys the severity and the government’s immoral aspects. It also is a perfect example of how he fought for what he believed in till the end of his life, because he believed the world would benefit from his leadership.
In closing Harrison Bergeron is a hero, as stated earlier he supported the people around him and encouraged them to develop their talents to their full capability, he was also one of the only people around him fighting back, causing him to be one of the only symbols for rebellion, he was also willing to sacrifice his life to end the governments cruel ways. Only a true hero would relinquish so much to assist others. The reader can take aways a lot from reading Harrison Bergeron, because it makes you realize you don’t always have to conform to the standards of society.
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