What Is Wrong With The Idea Of Everyone Being Equal – Term Paper Example
& Number: Everyone Being Equal (Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr 14 December (estimated word count = 322)
The idea of being equal is a pipe dream because not all persons are alike in terms of their abilities, uniqueness, personalities, capabilities, attitudes and behaviors. It is an idea that would have suited well in a democratic society but everyone knows this is quite hard to accept and an impossibility. It is desired for all beings to be equal in order to be fair but this is simply not possible because of human nature. In other words, creativity and talent will be lost. Additionally, individual initiative and identity would likewise be gone forever. Creativity and talent would not be maximized and advancement of society would be stunted.
In the short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. everyone is dumbed down by a secret government to the level of being morons. This kind of society suits the head of that secretive government because no one presents a threat to its existence. The idea of the equal society is brought to the extreme in which anybody who is more intelligent than others are forced to have a physical handicap so the more intelligent people would not have an unfair advantage over less intelligent persons (Farrell 183). This is just science fiction of course, but the idea of everyone being equal has always been a dream by those who aspire for a Utopian society but in this story, equality had backfired with disastrous consequences.
It is an American ideal “where all men are created equal” but this can have serious but sometimes comical and unintended consequences. Everyone is leveled to mediocrity as it is a sin to be talented and intellectually superior. Human progress is virtually impossible. It is also a universal concern that governments can and tend to be oppressive (Thomas 162). Ideas like everyone should be equal is absurd and should be abandoned with alacrity. Kurts works often combined social satire and science fiction to impart an ironic lesson (Buckley 1).
Buckley, Christopher. “How It Went.” The New York Times. 25 Nov. 2011. Web. 14 Dec. 2011.
Farrell, Susan Elizabeth. Critical Companion to Kurt Vonnegut: A Literary Reference to his Life and Work. New York, NY, USA: Infobase Publishing, 2008. Print.
Thomas, Paul Lee. Reading, Learning, Teaching Kurt Vonnegut. New York, NY, USA: Peter Lang Academic Publishing Group, 2006. Print.