Harrison Bergeron Questions and Answers
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Harrison Bergeron book cover
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Describe Kurt Vonnegut Jr.s' ideas and philosophies.

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bmadnick eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Vonnegut is an outspoken defender of free speech and an attacker of censorship. His works are known for their social criticism, presenting readers with a compelling vision of modern life. Vonnegut believes that it is the exceptional people of society who improve it. If society doesn't inspire all people, then it will be destroyed. He felt that too often people think that equality means sameness, and he believes conformity for its own sake is frightening. "Harrison Bergeron" deals with the evils of technology, but also with the idea of what would happen if everyone were the same. Vonnegut also believes, as he proves in his stories, that men and women remain the same no matter what type of technology surrounds them.

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luannw eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In this story, Vonnegut writes about how equality can be taken too far and about how the government can have too much power.  He shows the reader also how the "dumbing down" of society is a harmful trend.  All of these seem to indicate his philosophies of the trends in society he saw when he wrote the story.  See the attached link for more information.

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