Harrison Bergeron – Introduction

Learning Target: What are the main themes in Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”?

Do Now: “The year was 2081, and everyone was finally equal”.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Please answer the following 2 questions using your background knowledge (20 points):

  1. Are people equal?
  2. Should we / you / anyone fight to overcome ‘inequality’? Explain your responses please.

Story Linkhttp://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html

Notes for your Class Notebook:

  • In this story, a dystopian future story, everyone is being watched all the time by the government.
  • The government forces everyone to be equal, in every way – physically and intellectually.
  • Harrison is extrememly good looking, smart, and athletic.  This makes him dangerous to the government.
  • There are clues that Harrison’s father is smart, and his mother is not so smart.
  • The Handicapper-General makes sure, by watching everyone all the time, that no one is better or worse than anyone else.

Introductory Analysis:

Read aloud / listen up to 9:16 – then discuss the SETTING.

Ballerinas: No one is better than anyone else.  Equality!


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