Home » Dystopia » Perfectly Ripped Apart In Kurt Vonneguts Harrison Bergeron Essay

Perfectly Ripped Apart In Kurt Vonneguts Harrison Bergeron Essay

Perfectly Ripped Apart Our world is far from perfect and because our world is far from perfect, We have seen what perfection could actually be. In these examples, it’s clear that living in a perfect society does not lead to happiness. The Giver, a book by Lois Lowry is about a young boy’s travels through a ‘perfect’ society in the United States sometime in the future. The people there have grown accustomed to a lack of choice in life. Their government has gone to the extent of removing winter and color from everyone in order to make everything and everyone the same.

Harrison Bergeron’ is a short story by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. In this world, anyone who excels in any aspect of life is forced to wear a handicap. For example, someone stronger than the weakest person in the human race will be weighed down by extra weights. Someone smarter than the least intelligent person is required to wear an earpiece that will distract their train of thought to keep them from thinking. This world is one where everyone is equally incapable. Anyone who exceeds any expectations is held back by any means necessary.

Pleasantville is a world in which everything is black and white and everyone oes the same thing each day. They learn little. No one is able to do anything out of the ordinary. If something unexpected happens, people are not able to adjust to these unexpected changes because they have learned to do the same thing everyday and nothing else. Living in a perfectly controlled society may seem like the ideal way to live, but people living in these societies who are faced with unexpected circumstances are not prepared to deal with them. Striving for perfection comes at a cost.

One cost is the loss of uniqueness. In The Giver, the government made a decision to use sameness as a way to reate the perfect society. They removed winter (maybe it was causing problems) and they took away color. The government removed anything that makes people different. The government claims,”Our people made that choice, the choice of sameness. ” However, without the normal differences between people, everyone is the same, and if everyone looks the same and feels the same, there is no pain but there is also no joy. People can never experience anything that makes them feel truly happy.

People cannot express themselves or define themselves as unique individuals if nobody is allowed to be different. In Harrison Bergeron nobody gets a chance to be different either. There is no color, race or ethnicity. If you are stronger than normal you wear a weight to pull you down, if you are prettier than average, you wear a mask. If you are smarter than average a beeper that goes off in your ear every couple of minutes to stop your train of thought, so you no longer have an advantage over anyone else. “They weren’t only equal before God and the law.

They were equal every which way,” and equal to the least capable to make it fair. ” Everyone is equal, no one person is llowed to be smarter, stronger or prettier, so any uniqueness that defined someone prior to their handicap gets lost. In Pleasantville, everyone is the same and gets no chance to be different. If everyone is equal, no one can express their true self. People do the same thing each day, there is never any change, so people are not given the opportunity express themselves uniquely. It is not until the end when things start changing that people realize what they’ve been missing.

Someone yells, “Come on. Everyone is turning colors. Kids are making out in the street. No one is getting their dinner. Change and abnormality is strange to them, but it is also wonderful. These so-called perfect societies have removed color, seasons, and and much more, including individuality from their world. As a result, people have lost their uniqueness and are forced to be the same. Another cost is the strict punishments for rule breaking. In The Giver, people are released if they make three mistakes. A mistake could be stealing an apple from work, or riding another person’s bike.

Jonas witnessed this occur, “As he continued to watch, the new child, no longer crying, moved his arms in a erking motion, then he went numb, he was still. ” If you are sentenced to be released, you are given a medicine that stops your heart, so if you break the rules you lose all your rights, including your right to live. In Harrison Bergeron, George was stronger than average so he was required to wear a bag full of weighted balls. He was sentenced to two years in prison for taking some weight out. He says, “Two years in prison and two thousand dollars fine for every ball I took out. I don’t call that a bargain.

In Pleasantville, colors have been made illegal ecause of the emotions that they provoke when people see them. The judge tries to send Bill and Bud to jail for using forbidden colors in a mural. Bill and Bud did not try to harm anyone or steal, they were simply painting a mural. The judge wanted to put them in jail because they broke a rule that was essential for their perfect society. When people go against the guidelines of the society, they will be strictly punished by jail or even death. People have no choice but to follow the laws of the government. A final cost of living in a perfect society is lack of connection and deep emotion.

Because of the work put into making the perfect community, not a thing is missed, everything is exactly how it is ‘supposed’ to be. It is not until these perfect societies start to change that people realize how much emotion they have been lacking. “By now Jonas had experienced bits of happiness, things he had never known before. He had seen a birthday party, with one child singled out and celebrated on his day, so that now Jonas had experienced countless bits of happiness, things he had never known before. “In The Giver, people are given pills to remove human emotions like love, anger, and fear.

When Jonas experiences this happiness he realizes just how much emotion he is missing. In Harrison Bergeron, the handicaps make it impossible for people to feel, miss their only child, know they even lost their only child and they are left with little or nothing at all. They are not able to feel anything. “George came back in with the beer, paused while a handicap signal shook him up. And then he sat down again. “You been crying? ” he said to Hazel. Hazel sheds tears after the emotional execution of her son, but within minutes has forgotten what happened and losses the heart wrenching eelings a person with functioning emotions would have had.

When feelings are shown and new lifestyles are exposed to the citizens of Pleasantville, the government worries people are changing. The government doesn’t allow color or feelings, but when Bud and Mary Sue come to Pleasantville the citizens are shown color, love and anger for the first time. Being exposed to color, love, and anger reveals to the citizens that living such a uniform life prevents them from experiencing the emotions that make people who they are. They have been living as robots rior to this new exposure.

Communities are changing from their old ways because they are exposed to new scenarios that invoke new emotions they have never felt before. It makes them realize that they have been lacking any feelings of deep emotion prior to these events. Creating the perfect society comes at a high cost for humanity. People lose their ability to be their own person, love and connect. In The Giver they are given pills to remove emotions like love, anger, jealousy, sadness. They are numb. When the government enforced handicaps in ‘Harrison Bergeron’ makes veryone equal, talents, individuality and uniqueness is removed.

In Pleasantville there aren’t colors to help people express themselves. When the government enforced handicaps in ‘Harrison Bergeron,’ it made everyone equal and unable to think or feel. Another high cost of perfection for these societies were the strict punishments for rule breaking. In The Giver, people are released, which is another name for killed, after making three mistakes. In Harrison Bergeron, the son was thrown in prison for two years and charged two thousand dollars for every ball he took out of his handicap weight bag.

In Pleasantville, Bill and Bud tried to paint a mural with colors that were against the law and the judge tried to throw them in jail. People are punished severely for minor offenses in all three of these so-called perfect societies. When the government enforced handicaps in ‘Harrison Bergeron’ the people lost their capabilities, sense of humor, excitement, energy. In Pleasantville, there are no colors and nothing out of the ordinary ever happens so no one can experience deep emotions. Perfection is not what it seems, in each of these stories and movies it has brought harm, pain and suffering.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.