why did kurt vonnegut write harrison bergeron?  

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Rebecca Owens eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Both of the previous answers are excellent, but I would like to add a bit. Yes, "Harrison Bergeron" is a work of satire. Not only is it pointing out the importance of recognizing the strengths and weaknesses among individuals, but it is decrying what Vonnegut perceived as a potential misuse of the phrase created equal. When I teach this story to my students, I have them brainstorm lists of ways our government (or even our school) intervenes to create equality. We discuss the meaning of equality. We discuss what measures are fair and justified and which might be considered well-intentioned over-reach.

All of this is not to say that Vonnegut believed people are not created equal or shouldn't be treated with equality, but rather that an attempt by government to create an artificial equality based on the lowest common denominator would have extremely detrimental effects on our society. He used the ridiculous example of Harrison's mother not being able to remember seeing him killed on...

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Lenny Wiza eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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stolperia eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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