Harrison Bergeron Essay

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Alvarez is an instructor in the English and Foreign Languages department at Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina. In the following essay, he discusses "Harrison Bergeron" in light of Vonnegut's own beliefs about conditions in society.

In his Fates Worse Than Death: An Autobiographical Collage of the 1980s Kurt Vonnegut reflected on a 1983 speech he gave at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City:

American TV, operating in the Free Market of Ideas . . . was holding audiences with simulations of one of the two things most human beings, and especially young ones, can't help watching when given the opportunity: murder. TV, and of course movies, too, were and still are making us as callous about killing and death as Hitler's propaganda made the German people during the frenzied prelude to the death camps and World War II.... What I should have said from the...

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This section contains 2,145 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Harrison Bergeron Study Guide
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Harrison Bergeron from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.