9 January 2013

Today is a reading day for “By the Waters of Babylon” and “There Will Come Soft Rains.” These two texts are different than the text you read last night (“Harrison Burgeron”) because they are post-apocalyptic.  These texts often point to a dystopic past, so we can find many of the dystopic elements in them, but they will not match the pattern the same way that “Harrison Burgeron” does.

In addition, you’ll note that in a short story, the writer has less space and time to develop the dystopia, so a lot of the societal elements will be implied or obliquely referenced.  That approach asks more of us as readers (think “Hills Like White Elephants”).

Tomorrow we’ll discuss all three texts.

Also, a quick reminder that yesterday I re-posted all the journal interview documents, so if you need new copies, they’re available for you.

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2 thoughts on “9 January 2013

  1. This is for the discussion on Harrison Burgeron on 1/10/12
    We talked alot (in p.3) about how if making everyone equal would either be better for individuals or the common good. However, What I wanted to say was that even if you try to make things equal for everyone, it will never truly be equal. There will always be some kind of jealousy and strive to be better than others. Kurt Vonnegut shows us in the story because while George is going through these painful noises Hazel is envious. She is jealous and thinks that it would be fun to hear the different sounds.
    So, society can never be truly equal anyway.

  2. When we talked about these three texts in class, we talked about who was the protaganist in Harrison Burgerseon and if the society was a dystopian society. I think that they did have a dystopian society, because the government used handicaps and propaganda to scare, fool, and disable the citizens. They did this to control them and to keep them from knowing that anything was wrong. The government makes them think that they are “making everyone equal”, but in reality, they really aren’t. The government isn’t handicapped.

    I think Harrison is the protaganist because he questions the government and he fits most, if not all, the rest of the requirements for a dystopian protagonist.

    I think what the author is trying to tell us, is the more we relay on the government to be involved in our lives to fix all of the “problems” and the more we all strive to be the same or equal, this is what could happen. We could end up not being able to think freely and have emotions like an actual human. We could be like Hazel, and watch our own child get shot on tv, and not even feel sad or even remember it.

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