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“Harrison bergeron ”

“Harrison bergeron ”

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“Harrison bergeron ”

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  1. “Harrison bergeron” By Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

  2. Kurt Vonnegut • 1922- • “Harrison Bergeron” was first published in 1961, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction • Much of Vonnegut’s writing is satirical

  3. Discussion Questions • In the beginning of the story, the narrator tells us that the equality people have in 2081 trace back to the 211th, 212th, and 213th amendments to the Constitution. Currently there are 27 amendments. Does this extreme number foreshadow anything about the way the government has gone? • Why does George wear a mental handicap radio in his ear? • What is the theme(s) of this story? • What is the tone of this story? Explain with specific references. • What does the ending of this story imply? • Does Vonnegut think that standing up to the government is worth one’s life? • What commentary does this story offer on equality? Is it implying we should not strive for it? • What commentary does this story offer on the role of government? What role should government have in things like inequality among schools, races, socioeconomic conditions, and intelligence? • Are there any other modern day examples where the government works to establish a more equal footing for people?

  4. Possibilities for Writing • Is this story realistic? If so, what makes it so? • This story was set during America’s Cold War with Russia and a few decades after McCarthy’s “witch hunts.” How does the time period this was written during influence the story? • Vonnegut’s experiences with totalitarian regimes and as a POW are often cited as influential in his writings. How do you think they influenced this story? • Is “Harrison Bergeron” a story that endorses inequality in society?

  5. Video Clip • 2081 Trailor • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi6TTNKdgSk