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Based on "Harrison Bergeron," discuss what the author is saying about enforced equality...

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yary | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 13, 2011 at 2:03 PM via web

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Based on "Harrison Bergeron," discuss what the author is saying about enforced equality and whether it can ever be successful or not.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 13, 2011 at 7:42 PM (Answer #1)

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We are presented in this hilarious satire with a dystopian world where political correctness has gone mad. The idea that everybody must be equal in terms of their abilities is clearly one that is ludicrous, and this story presents us with the many different ways that such equality is achieved. However, it is made clear that the government, ran by the violently able Diana Moon Glampers in her role as Handicapper General, has suceeded in this, but only at the cost of massively invading our personal freedoms and liberties. George talks about how this system of equality is designed to prevent competition between humans:

"If I tried to get away with it," said George, "then other people'd get away with it--and pretty soon we'd be right back to the Dark Ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn't like that, would you?"

However, it is clear that this equality has created a situation that is worse than the original problem. It appears that the government can achieve enforced equality, but that this is something that leaves humans to lead a pitiful existence as they have to deny who they are to become equal. Thus although such a system can be achieved, the author is clearly saying that it is not a success, as is displayed by Harrison Bergeron's short-lived rebellion.

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