Originally published in 1961, “Harrison Bergeron” is a satirical, dystopian science fiction story written by Kurt Vonnegut, one of the most famous American writers of the twentieth century. The story, set in the year 2081, takes place after the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution have been passed and all Americans have been mandated equal. Yet, as the reader discovers, this mandated equality is neither as fair nor as humane as it may seem. Vonnegut's story inspires discussion about the challenges that come with “absolute equality”, what people are willing to give up for equality, and the relationship between equality and individual freedom, ultimately asking whether it is possible to pursue both liberty and justice for all.
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