What are three good reasons why Kurt Vonnegut wrote Harrison Bergeron?And a quote to prove it.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For one thing, Vonnegut was very concerned about the affect that television-watching had upon individuals.  He felt that watching TV was such a passive activity that it lowered people's intellectual abilties and affected their attention spans.  When Harrison is shot and his death is broadcast, his mother cannot remember exactly what has happened-"it's all kind of mixed up in my mind"--because she has become mentally torpid by so much TV viewing. In 1961 Newton Minow wrote about this problem in "The Vast Wasteland."

Vonnegut was also disturbed in the 1960s by governmental approval of the demands of civil rights and women's rights.  He felt that people were being forced to allow everyone to rise to the same level in society.  The forced mediocrity of Harrison is an "equal rights" gesture. Harrison  who is "abnormal" "is jailed" for his efforts at independence.

Finally, Vonnegut was disturbed by the acquiescence of people to governmental controls.  When the mother suggests to Harrison's father that while he is home he "rest the handicap bag" that he wears, the father is adamant about not disobeying, "I don't mind it," yet he winces in pain when blasts come to him.