The Dangers of Equality A Close Reading of Harrison Bergeron

At the beginning of the story, a quite exciting statement introduces the content of the story. The year was 2081, and, everyone was equal. Other than being the same in God’s eyes and the law, everyone was equal in every possible way. The theme of equality among everyone in the story was passed when constitutional laws were changed. The adjustment emphasized the theme, where equality was a new establishment among the characters featured in the story.The primary aim of Kurt Vonnegut’s story is to enable the audience to understand that people in every society should be given a chance to discover their utmost potential. The author also uses significant instances of behavioral characteristics and symbolism to support the central theme of the story. Other than that, below is more insight into the dangers of equality: a close reading of Harrison Bergeron with an emphasis on the main theme.Equality Limits People’s PotentialToday, many people believe that there should be total equality for all religions, genders, and sexes that exist. Well, Kurt Vonnegut’s short story brings out people’s qualities and their alterations to reach the required standards. Kurt brings out a good instance where people who illustrated a high intellectual capacity were forced to use devices that would limit their thinking capacity to average. Similarly, individuals who had a super enticing physical composure or beauty were forced to cover themselves up with masks. Worse still, they were pushed to gain extra weight to get rid of their bodily gracefulness.It Threatens the Existence of Cohesion in a SocietyIn essence, it would be impossible for a society to thrive when its citizens are pushed into neglecting their capabilities and qualities. Furthermore, a society can’t develop if they can’t act on their free will for their betterment. Torturing them to suit the level of the community would more likely result in more harm than good. Ideally, when the government reinforces initiatives that are meant to interfere with the progression of citizens, the individuals turn against each other. Well, one would agree that they wouldn’t like to see their potential and abilities being suppressed just to emphasize fairness.It Arises Fear among PeopleIn the Harrison Bergeron story, multiple events alleviate the many attempts of the government to deny citizens their legal rights. One of the most apparent results of such an impact is fear. The government goes ahead to emphasize that the citizens who fail to abide by the new biased laws of equality would suffer the consequences of disobedience.In the same light, Harrison Bergeron is demonstrated as an alpha male who is strong and handsome in the story. Similarly, his character is also illustrated as a brave individual, especially when he runs away from prison. When Harrison Bergeron takes off his handicap restrains, he reveals a gorgeous body with in-built physical strength.Death as a Danger of Forced Equality among CitizensMany handicapped citizens, the likes of Harrison Bergeron, would probably rebel against the idea of being equal to everyone. In the story, the government emphasizes strict adherence to equality for anyone who seeks to have their freedom. Towards the end of the story, a character of Diana Moon Glampers bursts into a studio and fires a shotgun twice. The gunfire results in the death of Harrison Bergeron and Hazel. After the turn out of events, individuals with impeccable skills and intelligence were given two options to choose. to embrace the concept of equality, or to endure inhumane torture due to failure to oblige. In essence, disabled citizens deserved better treatment. Hazel and Harrison Bergeron deserved to be allowed to establish and recognize ways that seem acceptable to them, without being forced.Forced Equality Lead to Intimidation among Individual CitizensFrom the interactions of George and Hazel, it is quite evident that the two characters have different levels of intelligence. An excellent example of such an instance is a conversation between the two characters. Hazel quotes that she can tell a person who is a doozy. In turn, George responds to her by asking her to repeat it. Subsequently, she recalls her initial statement. Hazel’s action paints her as having substandard intelligence. Moreover, Hazel does not suffer from any mental instability. Therefore, she has no idea of the government’s acts of looking down upon handicapped citizens.Citizens who are represented in the story have no say. They are forced to lay their desperations aside and embrace and obey the enforced law of equality by their government. Furthermore, they have to adapt to living with fear from within, bearing in mind any slight display of advanced abilities would attract severe punishment.It Causes Citizens to Degrade ThemselvesThe story uses various themes of imagery to emphasize the theme of forced equality. At one point, Hazel asks Harrison to rest his handicap bag down onto a pillow. From that statement, one can pick out the aspect of equality is just a belief and not the right action. Perhaps one would ask the question, Why does Harrison have to wear a handicap strap and handicap restrains if everyone is meant to be equal? Similarly, imagery is illustrated when Harrison Bergeron had to demean himself to prove that he was suitable to have a place in society. Harrison Bergeron was always instructed to wear a rubber ball to hide his nose. Furthermore, his brows were to remain shaven completely, and his white set of teeth hid using black caps.In the act of rage, Harrison Bergeron snapped his handicap straps that can anchor a significant weight of up to five thousand pounds. Harrison Bergeron significantly proves the negative outcomes of being equal and how it impacts people’s lives. In essence, even the tightest handicap restraints are never proof of an action that would suppress an individual’s desire to realize his potential. In the same light, the theme of the story also depicts outspoken individuals who are ready to stand up for their rights in a demoralizing society.Forced Equal Balance by a Government Causes Lack of Freedom to Express One’s RightsFrom the theme of the story, one can see that a government can choose to enforce an equal balance among citizens. However, the amendment comes at a cost. To implement the act, the government had to sacrifice – at this point, the individuality and free will of its citizens. From the turn out of events, an audience would probably not want to know more about the dangers that a forced societal balance can cause. The actions of several characters give an accurate idea of what such a situation would and feel. In short, the story opens the readers’ eyes to the fact that forcing it among citizens cannot be measured with an experience of ultimate balance.The Final WordGenerally, the book presents a lousy outcome when the main theme is enforced among citizens. Furthermore, society and the world at large cannot move forward if people are forced to adapt to inevitable changes contrary to their wishes. In other words, substantive results are not realized through neglect and arrogance.