Harrison Bergeron

Harrison Bergeron

by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


An email I sent Tues, 11/25, 10:11 am

I have been reading your Harrison Bergeron essays.

Some observations to help you.

The title can't be "Harrison Bergeron" alone, however you may include
it in your title.

Since this is an essay on how YOU are "differently abled" and on
equality, perhaps those words would be good in the title. The title of
an essay should represent the essay in some way.

As I have said the quotes are to be used to help you tell us about how
you are differently abled and to discuss the concept of equality in
your lives. Consider how you may be exceptioanl in something and are
prevented from excelling.

You have written stuff about yourself (Iam) and about schools
(opin01). Use these connections in your essay on Harrison Bergeron.

Be sure to include the title of the story in quotes and also include
the author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. when you first mention the story.

Outline:
I. Start with how you are differently abled and the pros/cons about
achieving equality in your life.
II. Make connecitons to  "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and
use the quotes to help.
III. Make connections to your I am, and opin01 essay, esp those on
schools and what they do to hinder excellence and only try to achieve
a simple equality and even handicap you as a student.
IV. Create good, creative title


  • Are we equal? Can equality ever be achieved? Do we really want true equality? How are each of us "differently abled"?

    "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. is a story about attaining equality using some extreme measures and methods. The constant desire to attain equality in schools and in life contrasts with a natural or unnatural desire to compete and to assert our individuality or genius. On the one hand we desire people to do their best and then in practice we set handicaps on people to prevent success. You may find this story a very interesting dilemma, not too dissimilar to our own. You may also find it disturbing. Read the story and then think how this story relates to you. Think about whether Nietzsche wasn't on to something when he criticized the naive idea of human equality. Or that uniformity (of any kind) leads to the loss of individuality, and therefore to absolute deformity of humanness.

    Use the questions below to help you understand the story and to write your essay. You can answer all of them on separate paper before you incorporate the answers into your essay. The questions are designed to help you find support from the text to write your essay.

      1. VOCABULARY: Look these words up before you read. Vigilance, handicap, sashweights, luminous, calibrated, symmetry, consternation, cowered, hobbled, synchronizing, flounced, capered, gamboled. Look up any other words you need to and add them to your list.
      2. Are we equal?
      3. Consider how "handicap" is a negative word. How does this change our perception if instead we used the words: "differently abled" when referring to people we have referred to as "handicapped"? Are they really "handicapped" or just "differently abled"?
      4. How do schools behave like the United States Handicapper General office in the story?
      5. Examine the relationship of Harrison's parents: George and Hazel. Consider their relationship to each other, to Harrison, in general.
      6. How does Harrison behave? How do others react to him?
      7. How is this image: "It became their obvious intention to kiss the ceiling. They kissed it." seem so inspiring in contrast to another image: "He tried to do the best he could with what God gave him."?
      8. Do you think Harrison Bergeron knows he will die as a result of his behavior? Are you shocked by his death? Is it foreshadowed in any way? If he does suspect he will die, why does he do what he does?
      9. Do you think Diana Moon Glampers is "handicapped"? If yes, how? If NO, why not?
      10. There are lots of Symbols in this story. Identify some of them and use them to help you deconstruct the story and to help you better understand it and then to write an essay about the story.
      11. Perhaps you wish to draw a picture of what Harrison looks like from the description of him from the story.
      12. email tnellen@teachers.ithsnyc.org the response to this: Select at least 3 sentences from the story that were important, relevant, key, supportive of your reading and understanding of this story and explain why.
      13. Do you see connections to your own "I am," articles we read for "opin01," and even to the "Emperor's New Clothes"?
    Write an essay about how you are "differently abled." After reading this story, consider connections to other work you have done in this class and elsewhere. What are those connections? Do you see contradictions to what is said and what is practiced in your life, school, our world? What does "equality" mean in theory and in practice? Think "differently abled" rather than "handicapped." Be sure to use direct quotes from the story to support your opinions and links to other work you have written. Be sure to relate the text to yourself.

    create a file called harrison.html to write this essay.


  • Scholars of ITHS
    E2-01 harrison. Return to Introduction - Return to CyberEnglish
    Andrew Arrieta
    Michael Baniazizi
    Lipy Begum
    Delia Buckley
    Gustavo Burroughs
    Kateryn Delgado
    Nadia Downer
    Kareem Francis
    Sheila Gamarra
    Alex Garcia
    Christopher Garcia
    Natthakan Garunrangseewong
    AnnMarie Hassan
    Duane Henry
    Joanne John
    Nicole Kelly
    Ivona Kronja
    Sanjeev Kumar
    Felicia LeCadre
    George Leonidou
    Sharina Reza
    James Russell
    Charles Sockwell
    Steven Spritzer
    Yoshiaki Yasuda
    E2-02 Return to Introduction - Return to CyberEnglish
    Amad Ahmed
    Shalah Ahmed
    Vladimir Aportela
    Franchesca Arroyo
    Andrew Arvay
    Pritin Augustin
    Marisela Carpio
    Christopher Cruz
    Robert DeSimone, II
    Ashley Fonville
    Jelani Grey
    Sharonna Henderson
    Lennox Hoyte
    Mahia Khan
    Albert Leung
    Lisa Leung
    Mari Lliguicota
    Sohail Mahmood
    Sharon Mook
    Luisa Morales
    Mychele Nobbs
    Sunny Patel
    Jonathan Pierre
    Galvez Pinguil
    Benny Quiles
    Stephen Slipoy
    David Sukhu
    Godfrey Taylor
    Maria Teran
    Corina Tolamaa
    Daisy Vargas
    Tiana Warren
    Teresa Yablonski
    Christain Zapata
    E2-03 Return to Introduction - Return to CyberEnglish
    Steven Angulo
    Jannisa Bautista
    Karl Cereno
    Shawntel Charles Martyr
    Yu Tong Chen
    Eumine Choi
    Colin De Rop
    Viviana Florian
    Justin Goldberg
    Elmes Gomez
    Glen Kelly
    Hyo Kim
    Carl Lella
    Joel Llorens
    Elisa Lopez
    Henry Martinez
    Monica Mizhquiri
    Otto Munoz
    Ricardo Narainsingh
    Jamere Nelson
    Bianca Ortega
    Britanni Paschal
    Yoana Ramos
    Adriane Randolph
    Jaraad Reynolds
    Harrison Serna
    Monank Shah
    Milos Stojanovic
    Lemwhir Valette
    Richard Walker
    Deja Williams