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Kurt Vonnegut is one of the foremost modern satirists. As a satirist, his job is to increase awareness of problems in society by making fun of those problems. In “Harrison Bergeron,” Vonnegut is making fun of the idea of natural “equality” by exaggerating the effects of the government’s attempts to make everyone equal.
Normally we would expect a society to try to correct inequalities by helping the disadvantaged. Vonnegut turns the tables in “Harrison Bergeron” and depicts a society in which the talented are made handicapped by various devices and policies.
If I were going to write this story from the main character’s point of view, I would focus on Harrison Bergeron’s feelings. The reader sees what happens to him in the story, but does not know how he feels about any of it.
Specifically, I would describe the feeling of having to hide his talents and endure imprisonment. How does he feel about that? What is his goal in escaping and breaking into the television studio?
Finally, at the end, I would focus on the feeling of joy he probably gets as he unmasks people and “flies” with the ballerina. Does he imagine the same kind of freedom and joy for everyone before he is shot and killed?
Keep in mind that a first-person narrator is not the same as an omniscient (all-knowing) narrator. Bergeron needs to be unaware of the danger he faces with his actions. His thoughts should reveal a certain innocence about what he is doing—he isn’t expecting to be killed for it.
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