Both Harrison Bergeron and The Incredibles share glaring commonalities; Harrison is exceptional in every way, Mr. Incredible is the epitome of exceptional societal and family values. The underlying theme in both stories capitalizes on the 'red thread' running throughout society in waves; mediocrity is normal, even desirable and excellence and far-reaching goals are to be controlled and stilled.
Examples of this disturbingly accurate realism are plentiful in both stories; Harrison Bergeron breaks free of the 'United States Handicapper General's best effort to squelch all individuality, intelligence, and beauty found within the boy. Effortlessly breaking the handicap devices designed to weigh him down and keep him from soaring, Harrison publicly announces his intention of flying by naming himself the "Emperor," calling for a brave woman to rise, remove her handicap mask and be his "Empress" and calling for musicians with awe-inspiring talent to remove their own limitations and become…… [Read More]
erewolf, Harrison Bergeron, and a Continuity of Parks
hen considered together, seemingly disparate stories can sometimes actually serve to illuminate each other better than a discrete reading of any given text. ith that in mind, this essay will examine the short stories "Harrison Bergeron," "The erewolf," and "A Continuity of Parks" in conjunction with each other, specifically looking at how each story challenges the reader's assumptions with a kind of "surprise" twist at the end. In particular, the unique way in which each story reveals the reality of the situation demonstrates how different stories may accomplish the same goal using means especially relevant to that particular story, because where "Harrison Bergeron" uses the bluntness of language to shock its reader out of a reverie, "The erewolf" adapts a well-known fairy tale as a means of subverting the reader's assumptions, and "A Continuity of Parks" uses the structure of the narrative…… [Read More]
In stark contrast to Hemmingway's Old Man and the Sea is Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron which is not only set in the future, but a bleak, tyrannical, almost farcical future. 2081 is not a year in which any sane person would hope to see if Vonnegut's future comes true; it is a dystopian future where everyone if forced to be equal, no matter how ridiculous the attempt to do so. The Bergeron's, George, Hazel, and their son Harrison live in a world where intelligent people have buzzers in their heads to keep them from being too smart, while beautiful people must wear masks to cover their faces so other, less attractive people don't feel bad. As Vonnegut himself stated "Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else." (Vonnegut) Every natural advantage is handicapped by the government to make everyone exactly equal. And everyone seems content…… [Read More]
This is a fascinating commentary about how modernization and mechanization can impact individuals to taking on the attributes of the technology that they work with. This is definitely thought-provoking in this day and age, making one wonder how one is impacted by the speed and immediacy of the Internet and other forms of technology on this generation.
However, this is one of Vonnegut's more hopeful stories. "Though Vonnegut has a reputation as a black humorist, this is an unusual love story between the most timid of men and a lonely receptionist" (Smith, 274). hile one can interpret this story in a cynical fashion, one can also appreciate it for the positive attributes it has to offer. "Yet, as in other Vonnegut works, art can be redeeming and transformative. Harry, when he is playing a character in a play, becomes larger than life. Helene, speaking with the narrator and Doris Sawyer…… [Read More]
The year was 1819 and I suddenly found myself in a society and culture that was starkly different than the one I was accustomed to. I am not sure how it all transpired but it was only yesterday that I had gone to a party to celebrate New Year 2005. I vividly remember meeting my friends and thoroughly enjoying myself before I took that drink. What happened after that? I don't know but it appears I was sent into some time machine because when I woke up today, life was just not the same anymore.
I woke up in a room, which is as dull and dreary as they can get. There are no pictures on the wall, no stereo, no collection of CDs and no television. The room has just one large-sized wooden bed, long flowing curtains, which have been closely drawn, a ceiling fan and a dressing…… [Read More]
Importance of the humanities in the professions:
A comparison of "Paul's Case," Muriel's Wedding and Andy Warhol's rendition of Marilyn Monroe
The modern concept of 'celebrity' is that anyone can be famous, provided that he or she embodies an ideal of glamour, using material trappings like clothing and possessions to show his or her 'specialness.' This is a common method of 'selling' a particular product in business.
The idea is paradoxical -- on one hand, celebrities are special, on the other hand the media suggests everyone can be a celebrity and 'famous for 15 minutes' if they buy the right item.
This can be seen in "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather, about a boy who feels as if he is above his classmates.
Paul desires to have a celebrity-like status, based upon his perceptions of himself as having innately refined tastes.
But this costs money, and Paul is unwilling…… [Read More]
Alienation in Different orks of Literature
Alienation is a common theme in many works of literature -- in many genres, across many periods, and of many different forms. The idea that one individual cannot truly know or understand another, or that the rules of society necessarily force those that question those rules to somehow be outside of that society, has been around since the time of Homer and certain of his characters. It can also be seen in more modern works of poetry, short stories, and dramatic texts, from a variety of authors writing in different times and with very different perspectives.
illiam Blake's poem late eighteenth century poem "The Tyger" does not deal with humanity's alienation from itself, or individuals' alienation from each other, but rather addresses the alienation of humanity from the divine. Describing the tiger as "fearful" and asking what "distant deeps or skies" the tiger's maker…… [Read More]
Tale as Told by another Character: Sweat - Zora Neale Hurston
The spring came along with its flare of sunny afternoons in Florida on that particulate Sunday afternoon. For a given number of women in the small village populated by the black persons would be thinking of what the family would have for supper. However, for Delia Jones, she was still in bed, thinking of her previous life when she was still young and pretty. Then the thought of her poverty and suffering stricken husband hit her mind, and the trail of cursing and lamentations flowed from her mind; and eventually found their way into verbal words oozing from her mouth like the waters of the spring streams of the Amazon. Sure, this situation was getting to the peak of the humiliation and underpinning of poverty and suffering that she could take.
Delia sat up in her bed of…… [Read More]