Books and Movies Reviews

Harrison Bergeron

Certainty of Failure: Kurt Vonnegut's Perspective of Communism in "Harrison Bergeron"
Author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is known for many classic writings such as "Breakfast of Champions," "Mother's Night" and "Welcome to the Monkey House." In many of his stories there is the theme of rebellion against those in power, which leads the reader to believe that Vonnegut does not trust ruling factions. Many of his novels are written to depict the evils which governments can commit. In "Harrison Bergeron," Kurt Vonnegut Jr. warns us through exaggerations of what might happen that communist societies as a social system are destined to fail in achieving the true ideals of communism.
The word communism itself is derived from the word community, which is in essence what a communist state is supposed to be, a community. As John Grey describes it:
"Communism is a society without money, without a state, without property and without social classes. People come together to carry out a project or to respond to some need of the human community but without the possibility of their collective activity taking the form of an enterprise that involves wages and the exchange of its products. The circulation of goods is not accomplished by means of exchange: quite the contrary, the by-word for this society is “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs”." (Grey, ref 1)
Essentially, in a communist society, everyone is supposed to be equal. They all work together for the good of the community without expecting a personal reward for their work and the result of their work must not be traded for personal gain. Everything that is done is done for the community. Everyone gives what he can, and receives what he needs. It is communism's attempt at making everyone equal however that Vonnegut warns of in "Harrison Bergeron."
In his story "Harrison Ber…

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