Isolation can be frightening because it can distort one's sense of reality and potentially lead to devastation. How does this theme apply to the storyI was thinking it applies since Harrison...

Isolation can be frightening because it can distort one's sense of reality and potentially lead to devastation. How does this theme apply to the story

I was thinking it applies since Harrison Bergeron was arrested due to his intelligence, power and skill which isolated him from society because he posed such a big threat. But I'm not quite sure how this isolation is frightening and how it distorts one's sense of reality.

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teachertaylor's profile pic

teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

To further your thoughts on Harrison, he might be afraid that if he remains locked away from society, then he will lose his sense of self.  Harrison nearly goes mad from being locked away, so when he becomes free, he goes to the extreme in attempting to take over society.  The problem with the society in the story is that the Handicapper General and the government have taken control over people's lives.  Rather than rebel against this form of control, Harrison decides to take control himself.  Either way, someone is still controlling the lives of others.  In this way, Harrison's sense of reality is distorted because he believes that his rule will be better than that of the former government.

atanakol's profile pic

atanakol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Harrison knew that he would be punished anyway; however, he defied the unreasonable applications which were killing the individuality of people in this society who were enslaved and handicapped in some way to serve the core idea that everybody would be "equal" before law according to social norms and behaviour patterns, Harrison, with his superior features was already a target and outcast who needed to be banned from the society in some way as he would "violate" the rights of others whom he could never be different from according to the rulers and who had to pacified as he formed a threat to the order that would be insecure in his free existence. But Harrison was isolated spiritually and a living dead deprived of zest and pleasures offered to man in a society which is naturaly based on sanity and which respects diversity and individual differences. ı think Harrison wanted to be a hero and serve humanity to offer a chance to the rulers to demonstrate what human beings are offered in natural surroundings to take the advantage of tasting everything man is exposed to.    

poetrymfa's profile pic

poetrymfa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Beyond Harrison's personal isolation, the ordinary members of society were isolated (via governmental techniques of physical, mental, and aesthetic equalizers) from any sense of humanity.  By creating a nation in which all people were equal--and, thus, "ordinary"--the government eradicated any sense of individualism.  The government did this because they believed that differences between people would cause society to become disjointed and unmanageable.  Out of this fear, the government attempted to rid itself of such isolation (as mentioned above, through equalizing all citizens).  This method backfired, however, as it created a civilization that was completely stagnant.  Without individualism, the society lacked the ability to progress and evolve; it became a mere illusion of utopia (hence, the distorted sense of reality) at a stand still.  Devastation inevitably arrived with the revolt led by Harrison and his consequent murder by Diana Moon Glampers.

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