Today we start a new unit exploring dystopia. We read Harrison Bergeron together in class so that we would have a text-in-common to start our discussion.
You pointed out (rightly) that there are a LOT Of popular dystopias right now and you are familiar with many of them: Maze Runner, Hunger Games, Matched, The Selection, Legend, The Giver…etc.
I explained that dystopia is a form of social critique. In it, the writer exaggerates a current trend in culture or society to demonstrate its potential evil.
Then I asked you to consider what trends Harrison Bergeron is/are critiquing and we mapped our discussion on the board (see below).
Special props to Levi, who coined the phrase “devaluation of exceptionalism.”
During class on Wednesday, we’ll watch a short film called 2081, which is based on “Harrison Bergeron.” Afterward, I’ll ask you to write in your lab book using this prompt:
Compare/contrast 2081 with “Harrison Bergeron.” In particular, does the film have a different message than the short story? Does it critique a different trend? If so, what? How effectively? If not, what tools does the film use to critique the trend differently?