History Main / HarrisonBergeron

12th Mar '13 4:01:02 PM Xtifr
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''[[CharacterTitle Harrison Bergeron]]'' is a dystopian sci-fi short story by KurtVonnegut, first published in October 1961. It is usually seen as a darkly satirical critique of forced egalitarianism, but it can also be interpreted as a StealthParody of the above, since ''both'' the forced egalitarianism ''and'' the UberMensch who fights against it are depicted as completely over-the-top.

"The year was 2081, and everyone was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else." The U.S. Constitution has been amended to allow the Handicapper General to physically handicap anyone with an advantage. The story centers on George and Hazel Bergeron and their fourteen-year-old son Harrison, who has been imprisoned because he constantly outgrows his handicaps. It begins with George and Hazel watching television when breaking news announces that Harrison has escaped from prison, followed by Harrison bursting into the TV studio. He is revealed as being not just above-average, but outright superhuman. Among other things, [[spoiler:he can fly]].

In many ways the book is an expansion of scenes from Vonnegut's earlier work ''Literature/TheSirensOfTitan'', where the theme of enforced equality was introduced; however, ''Harrison Bergeron'' takes a far more dystopian view of the concept.

There is also a 1995 made-for-TV movie based on the story, starring Sean Astin as Harrison. The movie follows his childhood and the consequences of a love affair with an illegally handicap-free woman.

A 25-minute long film based on the story, ''2081'', premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival in May 2009. The film was released on DVD on January 25, 2010.
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!!This story displays the following tropes:

* AdaptationExpansion: One scene from an earlier novel into a short story, then the short story into a movie.
* BureaucraticallyArrangedMarriage: In the film version, the government chooses spouses for people in order to increase the odds for breeding average children.
* CrapsaccharineWorld, if you are average
* CrapsackWorld, if you are not - and neither Harrison nor Philippa weren't.
* {{Deconstruction}}: This is a United States where everyone is equal. A little ''too'' equal.
* [[spoiler: DownerEnding: He dies and nothing changes.]] But the movie, at least, implies that this may not last.
* DystopianEdict: Everyone must be equal.
* GeniusBruiser
* IndividualityIsIllegal
* KarmaHoudini: The Handicapper General kills Harrison and makes sure StatusQuoIsGod.
* ParodySue: Harrison, who "tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds."
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: The driving force of the work.
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: The Handicapper General isn't subject to handicaps like the rest of the population, [[spoiler:as she shoots Harrison with perfect aim]].
* [[spoiler: ShootTheShaggyDog]] [[spoiler: It turns out, Harrison [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim isn't bulletproof]]. And the government inadvertently wipes his death from his parent's memories.]]
** [[spoiler: And everybody else's memories. However inadvertent, it's still a favorable outcome which the government would no doubt support.]]
* TheSocialDarwinist: Inverted. The government arranges marriages in order to make it more likely for people to have average children.
* StealthParody: In certain circles, the book has been interpreted as a grossly over-the-top satire of ''Literature/{{Anthem}}'' and similar collectivist dystopias (and the individualist heroes that transcend them), or of Cold War-era American conceptions of egalitarian social goals. Used to support this is the argument that the society depicted in the story is a StrawDystopia based on flagrant misunderstandings of the goals of socialism. Vonnegut himself is not known to have publicly taken this position; as both a socialist and a noted anti-authoritarian, however, his politics could support either interpretation.
** As a noted anti-authoritarian, it's obvious that a character who proclaims himself ruler and emperor is not meant to be heroic.
* StepfordSmiler: Most of the civils.
* TallPoppySyndrome: Deconstructed.
* TechnologyLevels: The movie version.
* {{Thoughtcrime}}: Thinking is outlawed in these parts.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Harrison, before he finally takes off his handicaps.

----
<<|{{Literature}}|>>

to:

''[[CharacterTitle Harrison Bergeron]]'' is a dystopian sci-fi short story by KurtVonnegut, first published in October 1961. It is usually seen as a darkly satirical critique of forced egalitarianism, but it can also be interpreted as a StealthParody of the above, since ''both'' the forced egalitarianism ''and'' the UberMensch who fights against it are depicted as completely over-the-top.

"The year was 2081, and everyone was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else." The U.S. Constitution has been amended to allow the Handicapper General to physically handicap anyone with an advantage. The story centers on George and Hazel Bergeron and their fourteen-year-old son Harrison, who has been imprisoned because he constantly outgrows his handicaps. It begins with George and Hazel watching television when breaking news announces that Harrison has escaped from prison, followed by Harrison bursting into the TV studio. He is revealed as being not just above-average, but outright superhuman. Among other things, [[spoiler:he can fly]].

In many ways the book is an expansion of scenes from Vonnegut's earlier work ''Literature/TheSirensOfTitan'', where the theme of enforced equality was introduced; however, ''Harrison Bergeron'' takes a far more dystopian view of the concept.

There is also a 1995 made-for-TV movie based on the story, starring Sean Astin as Harrison. The movie follows his childhood and the consequences of a love affair with an illegally handicap-free woman.

A 25-minute long film based on the story, ''2081'', premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival in May 2009. The film was released on DVD on January 25, 2010.
----
!!This story displays the following tropes:

* AdaptationExpansion: One scene from an earlier novel into a short story, then the short story into a movie.
* BureaucraticallyArrangedMarriage: In the film version, the government chooses spouses for people in order to increase the odds for breeding average children.
* CrapsaccharineWorld, if you are average
* CrapsackWorld, if you are not - and neither Harrison nor Philippa weren't.
* {{Deconstruction}}: This is a United States where everyone is equal. A little ''too'' equal.
* [[spoiler: DownerEnding: He dies and nothing changes.]] But the movie, at least, implies that this may not last.
* DystopianEdict: Everyone must be equal.
* GeniusBruiser
* IndividualityIsIllegal
* KarmaHoudini: The Handicapper General kills Harrison and makes sure StatusQuoIsGod.
* ParodySue: Harrison, who "tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds."
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: The driving force of the work.
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: The Handicapper General isn't subject to handicaps like the rest of the population, [[spoiler:as she shoots Harrison with perfect aim]].
* [[spoiler: ShootTheShaggyDog]] [[spoiler: It turns out, Harrison [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim isn't bulletproof]]. And the government inadvertently wipes his death from his parent's memories.]]
** [[spoiler: And everybody else's memories. However inadvertent, it's still a favorable outcome which the government would no doubt support.]]
* TheSocialDarwinist: Inverted. The government arranges marriages in order to make it more likely for people to have average children.
* StealthParody: In certain circles, the book has been interpreted as a grossly over-the-top satire of ''Literature/{{Anthem}}'' and similar collectivist dystopias (and the individualist heroes that transcend them), or of Cold War-era American conceptions of egalitarian social goals. Used to support this is the argument that the society depicted in the story is a StrawDystopia based on flagrant misunderstandings of the goals of socialism. Vonnegut himself is not known to have publicly taken this position; as both a socialist and a noted anti-authoritarian, however, his politics could support either interpretation.
** As a noted anti-authoritarian, it's obvious that a character who proclaims himself ruler and emperor is not meant to be heroic.
* StepfordSmiler: Most of the civils.
* TallPoppySyndrome: Deconstructed.
* TechnologyLevels: The movie version.
* {{Thoughtcrime}}: Thinking is outlawed in these parts.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Harrison, before he finally takes off his handicaps.

----
<<|{{Literature}}|>>
[[redirect:Literature/HarrisonBergeron]]
15th Jan '13 8:55:35 PM Fireblood
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* BureaucraticallyArrangedMarriage: In the film version, the government chooses spouses for people in order to increase the odds breeding average children.

to:

* BureaucraticallyArrangedMarriage: In the film version, the government chooses spouses for people in order to increase the odds for breeding average children.



* StepfordSmiler: most of the civils.

to:

* StepfordSmiler: most Most of the civils.



* TechnologyLevels: the movie version.

to:

* TechnologyLevels: the The movie version.
13th Dec '12 12:55:58 PM DynamicDragon
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Added DiffLines:

* TheSocialDarwinist: Inverted. The government arranges marriages in order to make it more likely for people to have average children.
30th Sep '12 4:33:12 PM agnosticnixie
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Added DiffLines:

** As a noted anti-authoritarian, it's obvious that a character who proclaims himself ruler and emperor is not meant to be heroic.
4th Sep '12 1:24:46 AM Xtifr
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In many ways the book is an expansion of scenes from Vonnegut's earlier work ''TheSirensOfTitan'', where the theme of enforced equality was introduced; however, ''Harrison Bergeron'' takes a far more dystopian view of the concept.

to:

In many ways the book is an expansion of scenes from Vonnegut's earlier work ''TheSirensOfTitan'', ''Literature/TheSirensOfTitan'', where the theme of enforced equality was introduced; however, ''Harrison Bergeron'' takes a far more dystopian view of the concept.
28th Jul '12 8:40:21 PM CassandraLeo
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* StealthParody: In certain circles, the book has been interpreted as a grossly over-the-top satire of ''Literature/{{Anthem}}'' and similar collectivist dystopias (and the individualist heroes that transcend them), or of Cold War-era American conceptions of egalitarian social goals. Vonnegut himself is not known to have publicly taken this position; as both a socialist and a noted anti-authoritarian, however, his politics could support either interpretation.

to:

* StealthParody: In certain circles, the book has been interpreted as a grossly over-the-top satire of ''Literature/{{Anthem}}'' and similar collectivist dystopias (and the individualist heroes that transcend them), or of Cold War-era American conceptions of egalitarian social goals. Used to support this is the argument that the society depicted in the story is a StrawDystopia based on flagrant misunderstandings of the goals of socialism. Vonnegut himself is not known to have publicly taken this position; as both a socialist and a noted anti-authoritarian, however, his politics could support either interpretation.
18th Jul '12 11:42:32 PM morane
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* CrapsackWorld

to:

* CrapsackWorldCrapsaccharineWorld, if you are average
* CrapsackWorld, if you are not - and neither Harrison nor Philippa weren't.
23rd Mar '12 4:16:21 PM DynamicDragon
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This story displays the following tropes:

to:

This !!This story displays the following tropes:
20th Mar '12 11:43:01 AM GGCrono
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"[[CharacterTitle Harrison Bergeron]]" is a dystopian sci-fi short story by KurtVonnegut, first published in October 1961. It is usually seen as a darkly satirical critique of forced egalitarianism, but it can also be interpreted as a StealthParody of the above, since ''both'' the forced egalitarianism ''and'' the UberMensch who fights against it are depicted as completely over-the-top.

to:

"[[CharacterTitle ''[[CharacterTitle Harrison Bergeron]]" Bergeron]]'' is a dystopian sci-fi short story by KurtVonnegut, first published in October 1961. It is usually seen as a darkly satirical critique of forced egalitarianism, but it can also be interpreted as a StealthParody of the above, since ''both'' the forced egalitarianism ''and'' the UberMensch who fights against it are depicted as completely over-the-top.
13th Feb '12 11:54:33 AM Charsi
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Added DiffLines:

* StepfordSmiler: most of the civils.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.HarrisonBergeron