Does Kurt Vonnegut like the society he describes in "Harrison Bergeron?" 

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kurt Vonnegut does not like the United States in 2081 as he has created it in "Harrison Bergeron." While describing the society in a seemingly matter-of-fact manner, the author's short, dumbed-down sentences in the first paragraph show he is scornful of the society he depicts. After readers have read how dim-witted Hazel is, Vonnegut writes, "Hazel, as a matter of fact, bore a strong resemblance to the Handicapper General, a woman named Diana Moon Glampers." This sentence shows Vonnegut does not think highly of the H-G since he has compared her to the intellectually "average" Hazel. The satirical humor the author uses, especially in the aimless, unfinished, or confused dialogue between Hazel and George, shows how the society's handicapping creates citizens who cannot think. When the author describes Harrison's dance with the ballerina, the mood changes to one of hope and joy, and the author's language takes on much more energy and awe. This shows the author approves of people being relieved of their equality-producing handicaps. By ending the story with a hackneyed joke--"You can say that again"--the author shows how much this society lacks creativity and originality.

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