Based on "Harrison Bergeron," what impact does the outlook of society have on individual freedom?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This story makes it very clear that the outlook of any society can have massive impact on the individual freedoms as experienced by its people. This story is an example of a dystopia, or an example of a future world where certain liberties such as freedom have been exchanged in order to create peace and stability, or the "perfect" society. However, dystopias never are "perfect" societies, because the peace and stability that is created is always at the cost of certain fundamental human characteristics that are necessary to make us human. In this story, it is the way that society has pledged itself to radical equality that has limited human freedom:

The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way.

In this society, we see that the individual freedom to be good at something and to use your natural gifts to excel in one area is prevented because of society. In the same way, society can also hinder individual freedoms through other laws and practices that it adopts.