Harrison Bergeron Topics for Further Study
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

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Topics for Further Study

(Short Stories for Students)

Research the process by which proposed amendments to the United States Constitution pass Congress and are ratified into law. Based on what you find out, do you think it is likely that the Constitution will have 213 amendments in 2081 ? Why or why not?

Investigate the controversy caused by Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton Minow's May, 1961, speech in which he labeled television ‘‘a vast wasteland.’’ Compare Minow's historical commentary about television to current commentaries and note how much (or how little) has changed.

Read the United States' founding documents—particularly the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, or the Federalist Papers—to determine the promise of equality or lack thereof found within them. Compare the ideas found in these documents with those in documents associated with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s—particularly the 1954 U. S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education—and the early 1960s, particularly Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail’’ and his 1963 speech known as ‘‘I Have a Dream.’’