How would you rewrite the ending of this story? If Harrison was NOT killed and became Emperor??What kind of changes do you think he'd make?

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hilahmarca's profile pic

hilahmarca | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

Harrison would begin the revolution focusing on getting the scientists, doctors, engineers, and all the other smartest members of society void of handicaps and operating to their utmost capacity.  It would be these people who he would hire as his advisors, for he knows that they, not the smooth talking, lobbyist driven politicians could best aid him in his quest for reformation.  With the help of this inteligensia, Harrison would write a new "Constitution" much briefer than the previous one, only including laws that are necessary and enforceable.  He would set harsh consequences for anyone who broke the laws.

His next venture would be to restore the painters, artists, actors, dancers, and athletes to their full potential and set up institutions for these people to thrive.  He may employ his wife, the most beautiful dancer, to head up this committee.  Through her works, society would be very much cultured and hold high value for the arts, entertainment and athletics.  I hope this is not sounding too utopic, for Harrison would be a fair, but strict ruler.  He'd be void of corruption, but people would still live in fear of him and his merciless rule against anyone who failed to contribute to or deranged society.  His mother would not do well in his world, but his father would be just fine.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I can't keep up with the satire here, but the first thing he would do is eliminate the "equalizers" which have encumbered him and set him apart--only to find that it is his natural gifts which set him apart, and he cannot get rid of those. I suspect he would not be sympathetic toward his parents, and I wonder about how his future relationship with television would look. Complicated, at best, I think.

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Considering Vonnegut’s penchant for satire, I would rewrite it with Harrison becoming a thoughtful leader at first but devolving into a ruthless dictator. Harrison would establish the rule that all cultural entertainment and social interaction must have some practical benefit. There would be no mind-numbing television, no art that doesn’t have a social component and there would no art or business that doesn’t contribute to the progression of human performance. At first, this is extremely successful, but in a few years this limiting and regimented system breaks down because people require freedom of expression and “down time.” Harrison is eventually ousted and put back in prison. His crime is listed as “the mechanization of human history.”

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