Dystopia; an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. This is the genre of the two stories, “Harrison Bergeron” and “The Veldt”. “Harrison Bergeron” is a dystopian science-fiction short story written by Kurt Vonnegut, published in 1961.
In the story, “Harrison Bergeron”, in the year 2081, everyone is equal. Strong people have to wear weights and smart people have to wear a headset that interrupts their thoughts. George and Hazel Bergeron were at home when their son, Harrison, who was considered too smart and strong, and refused to wear his handicaps, and had been sent to jail because of it, interrupted the TV programing. After he had declared an an announcement, and chose his wife, he was shot by the Handicapper General along with his wife. Although his parents saw all this happen on TV, they forgot immediately afterwards due to their handicaps.”The Veldt” is a science fiction short story by author Ray Bradbury. In this story, technology replaces George and Lydia Hadley in their children, Wendy and Peter’s lives.
The children don’t listen to their parents. When George and Lydia find that Peter and Wendy have been playing in a dangerous African veldtland, they try to shut it down. Their children get angry, and trick them into going into the African veldt and make them get eaten by lions. Although both these stories are dystopian, there are many similarities and differences to them. There are many things to compare and contrast about the characters, and overall story in “The Veldt” and “Harrison Bergeron”.
In “The Veldt” parents have practically no power over their children because the children are to smart. In “Harrison Bergeron” the people have no power, and are all equal. In both of the stories the children are to smart. Although in both stories the children are intelligent, the way the story ends for them is different. In “The Veldt” the children are rewarded because of how smart it was to lock their parents in their nursery so their parents would not be able to shut down their electronic house. In “Harrison Bergeron” Harrison, the child of George and Hazel, is sent to jail, then shot and killed because he is smarter than the the people of the city.
In the of “The Veldt”, we can tell Wendy and Peter are happy towards the end of the story because of their expressions. The children looked up and smiled. “Oh, they’ll be here directly.” While in the end of “Harrison Bergeron” the parents are sad.
“Something real sad on television”, says Hazel. And although Harrison’s parents want to mourn their sons death, they can’t, because of their handicaps. In both stories, Harrison, Wendy and Peter all believe different things which cause the main conflict.
These stories were set in the future, and possibly the authors were trying to show what we might become. And I believe these authors are correct. Some, if not all, of our lives are controlled by technology. We depend on it, and need it to survive. I also believe the authors were correct in showing a negative view of technology. We depend on it for everything, and if its ever taken away from us, it would lead to our downfall. We barely talk to people face to face because of technology. Although, I do also believe everything is good in moderation.
Without technology, we wouldn’t have such great medical advancements as we do today. But, if technology is overused, it isn’t so good. Like everything, technology is good in moderation.