Discussion Notes: Harrison Bergeron
Find this week’s story here: Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Next week’s story: The Dog of Tetval by Saadat Hasan Manto.
Gerald is still on vacation. This week Gabriel Jarboe, aspiring author and friend of the show, joins the discussion.
This week’s discussion of Harrison Bergeron led the hosts to debate the choices authors make in designing their characters. Gabriel thought the over-the-top, comedic quality of the title character, Harrison, was a stroke of genius and meant to be taken with levity. While Anais believed the choice to make Harrison an egomaniac undermined the satire’s larger lesson that warns against the perils of egalitarianism. Maya felt the story to be emotionally flat, but an enjoyable thought experiment. Rammy surprisingly liked the science fiction story, and admitted he normally does not like sci-fi. The discussion also veered into how innate competition is to the human condition. Maya noted that the handicaps made the subjects stronger, and Anais realized that even with the handicaps, the characters in the story could tell who was gifted and who was not.
Gabriel makes a valiant effort to convince Maya of the story’s pathos. Is he successful?
Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.
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