Why would society want to get ride of competition? Discuss with reference to "Harrison Bergeron."

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Let us remember that the society we are presented with in this dystopian world is one in which competition has been deemed to be unhealthy and unproductive, and so has been eradicated. Notice how George replies to his wife's suggestion that he remove some of his hindrances:

"If I tried to get away with it," said George, "then other people would get away with it--and pretty soon we'd be right back to the Dark Ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn't like that, would you?"

The way in which George describes a time where competition was allowed as being the "Dark Ages" clearly indicates that, for some perverse politically correct reason, this story is set during a time when differences between people and competition is thought to be a terribly negative thing. On the one hand, we can see the truth of this statement. Ask any student at high school and they will be able to tell you why competition is a negative thing, as our society does seem to be built on competition and being the best. However, this means that those who are not the best are going to feel constantly that they are a failure. However, on the other hand, competition is real life and is the only way that we can develop and improve. This story however imagines what society would look like if it tried to stamp out competition and the tragic consequences of such actions.

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