Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Harrison Bergeron

Alex Brown 
Feb 14, 2019 
Starting Points: Harrison Bergeron 
Literary Device #1: Irony 
  1. If being dim-witted is set as the norm of society and being intelligent or skilled is forbidden, society will never move forward because no one will have the opportunity to advance it. Ballerinas that are prohibited from dancing gracefully are obsolete and defeat the point of dance and self-expression. Readers begin to see that the idea of enforcing equality to this degree is silly and overall detrimental to society. 
  1. The irony of anticipating that Harrison Bergeron will be the savior of this fallen society is that it is na├»ve and unrealistic. Harrison is one against all, realistically his chances of success are very slim, yet we are still drawn to root for him. We also must consider that Harrison is at the young age of 14, to believe he could save the society would be wishful thinking. Harrison seems to be concerned for the welfare of his fellow citizens because he is willing to take a stand against the flawed nature of the society they live in.  Harrison’s craving to be excellent is ironic when compared to teens of today because most people are content with mediocrity. If you have a mediocre job that supports you, you have little incentive to find a better one because your current job already suits your needs. 
  1. When government official Diana Moon Glampers bursts into the news station and kills both Harrison and the Ballerina with one shot each she is shown to be a skilled shooter. Those who are not handicapped are either government officials or of low intelligence; only people who have no chance of advancing society are free of handicaps which reflects on the utter control the government has over the society.  
Literary Device #2: Shifts in Tone and Mood 
  1. By showcasing clumsy ballerinas, stuttering announcers, and dim-witted Hazel, the author is depicting a comedic tragedy. The society they live in is meant to make the reader realize the absurdity of the characters situation so they might pity them. The author set this silly yet somber absurdity to emphasize the dark, eye-opening impact that takes place later on 
  1. When the harsh penalties for removing handicaps are revealed it is a sober moment that gives the reader more reason to feel pity for the characters and stresses how controlled their environment is. Readers may feel disturbed or sad when they find that George has accepted his current stunted state.  
  1. When Harrison Bergeron bursts into the news station it is a moment full of excitement and hope. The reader might feel surprised at first and expectant that Harrison will be successful in changing the society. 
  1. The previous tone of comedic absurdity is violently shifted when Harrison, a 14-year-old boy, and the ballerina are both shot and killed instantly. Harrison’s death is an impactful ending to story that will convince the reader that living in a society where there is enforced equality is detrimental.  
Literary Device #3: Allusion 
  1. An amendment is an official change to a law or contract; an amendment to the constitution simply makes a change to it. America currently has 27 amendments; to make an amendment today, the proposal must be agreed upon by at least two-thirds of the majority vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. If the society that the Bergeron’s live in has over 211 amendments, I would expect their personal freedoms to be very limited. 
  1. Chimes are used to remember someone, whenever you hear the sound you think of that person or thing. This implies that God and the Gospel are just a memory in 2081instead of a living active entity. 
  1. When George mentions ‘Dark Ages” he is referring to the time in his society when people were free of handicaps and were allowed to practice and advance their skills. This term is alluding to the time period in the middle ages that was landmarked by societal, cultural and economic deterioration. This implies that competition is viewed as primitive and detrimental to society.
    Alex Brown 
    Feb 21, 2019 
    1. Satire is the use of humor or irony, typically used to criticize a person or ideology. An example of satire in Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, Harrison Bergeron, is shown when clumsy ballerinas and a stuttering announcer are depicted on TV. These obsolete professions are used to accentuate the absurdity of enforced equality. “They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn’t be handicapped. But he didn’t get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts. 
    1. Mood is the atmosphere of the story and the tone is the authors attitude towards it. Tone and mood is present in the story when the harsh penalties for removing handicaps is revealed. ““Two years in prison and two thousand dollar fine for every ball I take out,” said George, “I don’t call that a bargain””  
    1. Allusion is the indirect reference to something. In the short story, George is seen referencing the Dark Ages when he is referring to a time when everyone was allowed to compete and advance their skills. ‘“If I tried to get away with it,” said George, “then other people’d get away with it and pretty soon we’d be right back to the dark ages again with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn’t like that, would you?”” 

Through the Tunnel- Literary Devices

 Alex Brown 
Mar 7, 2019 
Starting Points: Through the Tunnel 

Literary Device #1: Flat and Round Characters 
  1. Jerry is depicted as a round character, this is shown by his determination to achieve his goal which is later resolved which then leaves him satisfied and disinterested. The author focuses on Jerry’s immaturity and youth to accentuate the struggle of doing such a feat.  
  1. Jerry’s mother is a flat character, she remains unchanging throughout the story. The author chooses to write her this way to emphasize Jerry’s change at the end of the book. When the two characters are compared at the end jerry’s experience becomes even more meaningful because he has changed but his mom has not. 
  1. The native boys are round characters, this is shown when they are friendly towards Jerry at first but then quickly grow tired of him and swim to another bay. The author chose to write them this way to act as a boost of motivation for Jerry and to make his accomplishment more meaningful. When Jerry decides not to join them at the end this proves he has changed and no longer needs to prove himself to them because he has proved himself that he is capable of the task. 
Literary Device #2: Third Person Omniscient 
  1. We know that Jerry is committed to the task when he  
  1. Jerry is shown to be very determined to go through the tunnel when he begins slowly training his lungs to be able to stay underwater for the amount of time needed to go through the tunnel and when he begs his mom for goggles so he can properly see. His mom was unaware, almost ignorant to his ambitions despite him coming home with bloody noses and blurry eyes every night. This stage took days compared to the commitment stage which only took a few minutes. 
  1. Jerry’s doubt is shown first when he is frightened by a tendril of seaweed brushing across his face and second after he gets a nose bleed, he becomes afraid that he will get dizzy in the tunnel and drown despite his training. 
  1. Jerry claims to himself that he will complete the task even if it kills him. He makes the final decision to go through the tunnel then plunges down to the entrance. Jerry reaches the moment when “He was at the end of what he could do.” when he reaches a part of the tunnel where light is shining through by a crack, he has reached 115 seconds in the tunnel. It is important to understand the story from this point of view because it gives us insight to what the character’s thought process is while he is in the midst of a struggle.  
  1. Jerry Experiences triumph when he exclaims proudly to his mother that he can hold his breath for three minutes. However, no other character is aware of his accomplishment and what it did for him. 
Literary Device #3: Symbolism 
  1. For Jerry, the beach symbolizes ordinary life, something that presents no challenge. He characterizes the beach his mother lays on as a safe place for children, which drives his motive for wanting to move past it. 
  1. The bay symbolizes independence and freedom to Jerry, he sees the regular beach as safe and uninteresting. To Jerry, it is a wild place full of opportunity and adventure. 
  1. For Jerry, the tunnel symbolizes the unknown or a challenge. The tunnel’s low visibility and unpredictable terrain make it an appropriate symbol for this.