Why did the author use repetition at the end?      

Expert Answers
price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

By using repetition at the end of the story with George and Hazel’s meaningless conversation, it shows that Harrison’s attempts to rebel against the government failed horribly, and the way the government controls its citizens will continue.  George and Hazel don’t even remember seeing Harrison killed, and they will not remember Harrison’s valor because of the handicaps placed on them.  At the end, Hazel reacts to what happened with Harrison on TV, but then she quickly forgets when George asks her why she’s crying.  George tells her to forget “sad things” and is then blasted by a noise in his ear causing him to wince. His handicap has caused him to forget the tragedy as well.  It is here that Vonnegut inserts the joke, “You can say that again” and Hazel says, “That must have been a doozy” for the second time.

I think Vonnegut is showing how difficult it will be for this society to change.  The society will just keep being controlled by the government and remain ignorant of the rights the government is denying them.  The repetition shows the mindless, oblivious state in which they will continue to exist.  Like the repeating lines spoken by George and Hazel, society is also repeating its willingness to go along with the government's attempt to make them equal and the same.